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Extra Pay For Soldiers Should Be Taxable

Defence force staff deserve a pay rise but if recent reports are correct, the Government is going the wrong way about it, National's Revenue spokesperson Annabel Young said today.

"Paying personnel a tax-free allowance helps colonels and majors a lot more than it helps privates and corporals.

"The tax-free allowance announced yesterday wouldn't even work because the Government hasn't put the necessary tax mechanics in place.

"To be tax-free the payment has to be either a reimbursement of expenses or a war-zone allowance. It's not credible to expect the IRD to agree that all soldiers have suddenly had a massive increase in their expenses.

"Timor has not been categorised as a war-zone and it's unbelievable that the Minister is about to declare both domestic New Zealand and Timor as war-zones. If New Zealand is a war-zone for defence personnel then surely frontline staff in other Government Departments will want the same treatment.

"The Government should stop trying to be clever and just pay defence staff the money they deserve," Annabel Young said.


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