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Stupid tax on trade must be dropped

Media release
26 February 2004

Stupid tax on trade must be dropped

Business NZ is calling on the Government to consider the overwhelming weight of select committee submissions and drop the proposed $20 million border security tax.

"This tax is another cost that will harm New Zealand's international competitiveness just at a time when the Government says it wants to help businesses cope more easily with a high dollar," Business NZ Chief Executive Simon Carlaw said.

"The Minister of Customs claims enhanced security is a private good that benefits individual exporters, importers and businesses. Those who have made submissions strongly dispute this - the high degree of public good in border security means that the Government's own costs should be met out of general taxation.

"Individual businesses are already incurring significant costs in complying with the new security requirements so it is doubly unfair for the Government to try and unload its costs and responsibilities onto the business community.

"The proposed flat charge per shipment is nothing more than a crude and blunt tax on trade and is another ridiculous tax that must be stopped."

Business NZ is a member of the Travel and Trade Industry Coalition, which this morning presented its submission on the controversial tax to the Government Administration Select Committee. The Coalition was formed out of business community anger over the tax and now has over 30 members.

ENDS

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