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Scare-Mongering Disappointing - Cullen

Finance Minister Michael Cullen says he is disappointed that irresponsible reporting by some of the media has forced him to comment on the issues paper released yesterday by the Tax Review.

Dr Cullen had hoped to avoid commenting on specific issues raised by the Review in the interests of having a full and open debate.

"But some media have reported such suggestions as a new tax on owner occupied housing as if it came from me and was government policy.

"They know very well that is not the case. The suggestion is in an issues paper prepared by an independent tax review committee. I have had no input into that paper.

"When the suggestion of such a tax was made by the OECD last year, I rejected it in very strong terms. I have seen nothing that has changed my mind in that regard.

"But I defend the right of the review to raise the matter. People who want to express their views are encouraged to write to The Secretary, Tax Review 2001, P.O. Box 3724, Wellington or by email to info@taxreview2001.govt.nz

"It is a great pity that some in the media have chosen to wind the matter up in such a way as it is causing a good deal of alarm, particularly among the elderly," Dr Cullen said.

Ends

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