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Peters Gives Exporters Hope

20 June 2002

“Australia’s PM John Howard will be weeping,” New Zealand First leader Winston Peters told a group of Auckland businessmen today.

Mr Peters was outlining his party’s plan to fix New Zealand’s export problem.

“When we compare our performance with other countries of similar populations but fewer resources the problem is highlighted: New Zealand exports (in $US) $3,600 per man, woman, and child. That figure for Ireland is $19,300, over 530% more. And at almost 10 times the New Zealand rate each Singaporean exports $34,700(US), Mr Peters said.

“I am not here today with an election year tax cut in the offing, but New Zealand First does undertake to reduce corporate tax in the short term. But our economic priority is to make next year, 2003, export boom year and to redress that obvious imbalance of international performance.

“Our key strategy, details of which are soon to be announced, is to implement a tax abatement scheme that will reduce the tax rate on new export net profit to 20%.

“If Company A has net income from exporting of $1,000,000 this year, and if it achieves $1,400,000 in 2003, then the tax on the additional $400,000 will be at 20%.

“We will put the machinery, legislation, and the penalties in place to ensure that this system is honest and kept honest, Mr. Peters said.

“We need to lift dramatically the performance of the entire sector. This is not a case of a government meddling nor a matter of picking winners - it is simply a situation where the government, as is done in successful overseas economies, provides the right conditions and our entrepreneurs and innovators will do the rest.

“Export policy in New Zealand today is, by any international comparison with sound economies, a mess. Can we fix it? Yes we can!”

ENDS

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