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Mallard robs from schools to fill Govt coffers

Gerry Brownlee National Education Spokesperson

Thursday 27 September 2001

Mallard robs from schools to fill Govt coffers

Education Minister Trevor Mallard has been at the forefront of plans to rob from schools to fill the Government's coffers in a controversial tax grab from pokie machines, National's Education spokesperson Gerry Brownlee said today.

National's Finance spokesperson Bill English yesterday revealed secret Government plans to impose a 'high rate of tax' on poker machines. The plans propose collecting $50 million a year in revenue for the Government by introducing a 'Community Purposes Tax'.

"Schools and education groups currently receive $16 million each year from gaming machine trusts and pub charities. This money funds sports equipment, school facilities, sports uniforms, drama and cultural groups to name a few. The Government's plans to loot pokie machine revenues will mean less for schools.

"Mr Mallard, as Associate Finance Minister, has sold out schools along with sports clubs, youth groups and health organisations. Unsurprisingly, Mr Mallard got the Government to wait until after he addressed the NZEI and PPTA conferences to make this announcement.

"Mr Mallard has a mythical vision of himself as a modern day Robin Hood, but in reality he's the Sheriff of Nottingham - robbing from schools, sports clubs and charities to give to the arts and other Government pet projects," Mr Brownlee said.

Ends

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