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Cullen trying to rip off farmers

Jenny Shipley Leader of the Opposition

28 March 2001

Cullen trying to rip off farmers through Capital Gains Tax

There is no way National will support Michael Cullen's capital gains tax on Taranaki and West Coast leaseholders, Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley said today.

Dr Cullen is proposing a legislative change which would impose taxes on any compensation payments awarded to the 170 leaseholders of Maori reserve land who opted for their cases to be considered by the Land Valuation Tribunal.

"Those leaseholders took a risk when they opted to pursue their cases through the tribunal. Their understanding in taking this option was that this was a capital gain issue. At the time they made that choice they could have been winners or losers, depending on land valuations.

"Now, three years later and just days before those leaseholders have their day in court, Dr Cullen is trying to change the rules. That's a reprehensible attempt to impose retrospective legislation.

"This Government promised 'no new taxes', yet here we are less than half-way through their term and they are poised to introduce a version of one of the most economically destructive taxes of all - capital gains tax. We will vigorously oppose this. Dr Cullen's capital gains tax will send a shiver down the spine of business in New Zealand.

"Dr Cullen's last minute law change is a money grab. In a desperate scramble to balance his Budget he sees farmers as an easy target. But those farmers have played by the rules, and Dr Cullen must too. He must not be allowed to rip those farmers off," Jenny Shipley said.


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