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The Week Ahead In Parliament - New Govt Takes Over

The first parliament with a new government for nine years opens today and the rest of the week promises to be both busy and bruising.

All MPs are sworn in today and it is expected that veteran Labour MP Jonathan Hunt will be elected as Speaker of the House.

On Wednesday the new government will get down to business under urgency with plans to push through new tax legislation which will increase the top tax rate on those earning over $60,000 to 39 cents in the dollar. If ready in time the government also plans to introduce new ACC legislation which repeals the decentralisation measures imposed by the last government.

This would prevent employers using private workplace insurers.

Student loans and the minimum wage are also on the agenda and the controversial party-hopping legislation favoured by Labour and the Alliance looks unlikely to proceed until the New Year due to lack of support from the Greens.

The government can expect a new and invigorated opposition to launch a series of attacks on the new government and their legislative programme for the duration of the week. The Greens will possibly be singled out for particular personal attention.

At the end of this session – the closing date is not yet known – parliament will rise until February 2000.

ends

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