National Radio Midday Bulletin
IRD ON TAX: The IRD has warned the government of the dangers of increasing taxes in new briefing papers. They say tax increases will effect investment and saving levels, as well as spending. The tax increase legislation will still be introduced today.
ENGLISH: Bill English says the tax increase will be detrimental for the country in the long run.
CONSULTANTS: The government is investigating how many government departments hired consultants to prepare briefing papers for the new government after at least two agencies spent up to $30,000 for this task. The PM says this is unacceptable.
SELECT COMMITTEES: Two Select Committee chairs have not been appointed yet as there is anger over the allocation of chairs. National have been given none.
HARVEY: Labour Party president Bob Harvey is expected to move a vote of confidence in himself tonight during a conference call.
VENEZUELA: Venezuelan authorities say up to 50,000 people may be dead after huge floods there over the last few days. There is not enough aid to go around.
ABORTION: the Medical Association says women will benefit from a review of abortion law which would allow a GP to approve an abortion instead of two certifying consultants which cost the country close to $3 million per year.
SRI LANKA: Sri Lanka is under a dusk to dawn curfew for the vote counting following the islands presidential elections. The polling was marred by sporadic violence including a grenade attack on one polling booth. 75% turned out to vote.
FLOOD INQUIRY: The government say ACTs push for a Select Committee inquiry into the Alexandra floods is a political stunt and that they know a Select Committee cannot do that. Party leader Richard Prebble says the government knows they could be liable for up to $20 million.
UN SECURITY COUNCIL: The UN says the Security Council should intervene and investigate war crimes in East Timor if Indonesia do not co-operate and agree to the investigations.
FOOD: The Vegetable Marketers Association say Kiwis are eating less vegetables and sales are low despite prices for fresh produce falling 50 per cent.
SOLSTICE: Today is the Summer Solstice – the shortest night and longest day – and it coincides with a full moon which promises to be very spectacular.