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Cost of groceries set to rise again under Labor’s PALM scheme changes

Leader of The Nationals David Littleproud is warning Labor’s changes to the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme will push up the cost of groceries even further.
Mr Littleproud said families would be forced to pay more for their food at the check-out, after Australian farmers inevitably passed on their increased costs to make ends meet.
“Labor’s cost-of-living crisis is only going to get worse as families struggle to pay for their food,” Mr Littleproud said.
“Common sense tells you near-impossible new rules and increased costs on our farmers created by Labor will result in increased costs on food for families.”
It comes after Labor changed the PALM scheme rules, forcing those from nine Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste to be paid a minimum of 30 hours a week, every week.
Mr Littleproud said the union-backed reforms could see many farmers now exit the PALM scheme, with farmers also struggling to find workers.
“The National Farmers’ Federation and the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia previously warned at Labor’s Jobs and Skills Summit that agriculture requires an additional 172,000 workers to get food from paddock to port or plate.
“The PALM scheme has the potential of just 42,000 workers.
“It is now becoming even more unattractive for farmers to sign up to the PALM scheme.
“At the same time, Labor is refusing to reinstate the Agriculture Visa, which was designed by the former Coalition Government to supplement the PALM scheme.
“When supply goes down, prices go up, which is why farmers are currently planting l ess and Australians continue to pay more for food.”
The cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages has already increased by eight per cent over 12 months to March 2023, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures.

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