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FBT Reality Bites Small Businesses

The cold reality of the Government's anti-business policies is hitting thousands of new victims as the country's employers face their first fringe benefit tax bills under the new high rate imposed by Labour, National's Revenue spokesperson Annabel Young said today.

"Tomorrow is the deadline for the first FBT returns at the new rate - which is over 30% more than businesses paid under National.

"As small business owners write out these bigger cheques they should remember that the FBT increase is one of five new taxes introduced by a Government that promised just one tax increase.

"Businesses have every right to resent forking out more money tomorrow because the Government rammed through its pre-Christmas increase to the top personal tax rate without proper analysis or thought.

"Many employers won't be able to do anything to avoid the higher FBT rate because they are locked into contracts to provide fringe benefits to employees and can't change the contracts just because the Government put the rate up.

"Higher taxes will do nothing to help business out of the current crisis of confidence.

"One of the reasons businesses are worried about the future is the raft of higher costs that they are facing.

"This Government keeps coming up with additional costs - like this FBT increase - that make it harder for businesses to make a decent living in New Zealand."

Ends

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