Barnaby Joyce has called on his government to approve as much $7 billion in assistance for drought affected farmers. The suggestion comes days after the Coalition rejected a proposal to support fruit cannery SPC Ardmona through a plant restructure.
Should the government pick winners? And who have been the largest recipients of assistance?
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From the last set of available figures we can see that agriculture was a significant recipient of government assistance - though it received far less than the power sector, which enjoyed big transfer payments as compensation for the carbon tax.
Roll back a few years though, and the picture is very different.
In 2007-8 the agribusiness sector received over a billion dollars in government assistance, mostly because of the Labor Government's decision to buy back water rights to the Murray-Darling irrigation scheme.
So who has been most helpful to industry in terms of handouts?
Clearly there has been both a spike and drop in government spending. The 2012-13 figures from the Productivity Commission, released this year, should confirm this trend.