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Government Could Not Organise Smoko Break

Tuesday 9th May 2000
Richard Prebble
Media Release -- Economy

The introduction of the Customs and Excise Amendment Bill under extraordinary urgency shows the government has no idea about how to run Parliamentary business, ACT leader Richard Prebble said. “But it’s really a broken election promise. If this was really a health measure then the coalition should have approached ACT and set out how they are going to reduce taxes on low income New Zealanders the amount equal to their cigarette tax and then we would have looked at the measure,” Mr Prebble said. “Instead it’s a tax that falls on those least able to pay it.” Mr Prebble said the Bill was indicative of the government’s bumbling approach to House business. “This Bill, which would normally come under the aegis of Budget legislation has been introduced because the management of the business in the House by the government is appalling. The real secret for increasing taxes on tobacco under urgency is because the Government is trying to fill out this Parliamentary session. “Parliament has begun a five-week session without enough work. The proof lies in last week’s conscience vote on a supplementary order paper – almost unheard of. “Why is there no work? Because the government is so divided on the rest of the programme, no other Bills are ready to put before the House,” he said. Mr Prebble said another reason for the Bill was to knock the Prime Minister’s mishandling of the Waitara inquiries off the front pages of tomorrow’s newspapers.


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