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Minister evading wool reserves tax issue

Gavan Herlihy National Agriculture Spokesperson

30 October 2001

Minister evading wool reserves tax issue

The Government must provide a clear ruling on the tax liability and Wool Board reserves before farmers vote on any wool reform package, National's Agriculture spokesperson Gavan Herlihy said at today's Wool Board AGM in Napier.

The Minister of Agriculture Hon Jim Sutton told the AGM that wool farmers should 'make a case to the Minister of Finance to indicate that any direct distribution of reserves to growers could well be taxable if those reserves had been put together by tax deductible levies'.

"As the wool growers' Minister it is simply not good enough for Jim Sutton to 'kick for touch' on this important issue.

"Before farmers are in a position to vote on any restructuring plan they need to know whether or not they will be taxed on any reserves that are returned to growers.

"The Minister is also acting under the misapprehension that the reserves were accumulated by unspent tax deductible levies. Clearly this is not the case.

"Jim Sutton, who is responsible for the statutory administration of the Wool Board, must show leadership in resolving this important tax issue rather than evading the question and leaving it for wool growers to pursue," Mr Herlihy said.

Ends


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