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Govt ignores human face of tariff cuts


John Luxton
Opposition International Trade Negotiations Spokesperson

10 April 2000

Govt ignores human face of tariff cuts

The Government's tariff decision will hit the pockets of many families who rely on cheaper clothes and shoes, Opposition International Trade Negotiations spokesperson John Luxton said today.

"Labour has traded off families and manufacturers by scrapping tariff cuts just to keep the Alliance happy.

"The Government's ignoring the very real human face of the tariff reductions.

"Tariff reductions have cut the price of necessities like clothes and shoes dramatically and that's helped people stretch their budgets to pay for other things.

"Freezing tariffs at 1999 levels will wipe at least $40 million a year from the pockets of ordinary New Zealanders.

"This Government is effectively forcing New Zealanders to pay about 20 per cent more for shoes and clothes than they would've been in 2006.

"The Government is also penalising New Zealand manufacturers and farmers - who will have to pay more for their raw materials.

"The decision will also make it much harder to meet our APEC zero-tariff commitments by 2010."

Ends

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