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National slams timing of tax grab

David Carter National Tourism Spokesperson

11 October 2001

National slams timing of tax grab

Government legislation to grab back millions of dollars in tax from inbound tourism operators at a time the industry is suffering a serious setback is despicable, says National's Tourism spokesperson, David Carter.

"As the New Zealand tourism industry braces itself for a noticeable drop in international visitor numbers for the last quarter of this year, the Government is forging ahead with its proposed retrospective GST grab from inbound operators.

"In the current international climate, inbound tourism operators should not be under threat. They need to be actively marketing New Zealand as a safe holiday destination. To do this, they need to spend money.

"Instead, the Government's tax grab means that money earmarked for marketing will be soaked up by accountants' bills and further tax bills because Inland Revenue is threatening to reassess GST returns filed as far back as 1986. Even operators who think they're safe will be hunted down as Inland Revenue wages a major campaign of tax audits on the tourism industry.

"The Government is once again demonstrating how out of touch it is with business. At this time of international economic uncertainty, it should be boosting the confidence of business, not breaking it down," David Carter said.


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