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Michael's Midnight Madness

Michael's Midnight Madness

Wednesday 7 May 2003 Heather Roy Press Releases -- Taxation

The overnight increase in alcohol tax has nothing to do with health, ACT Health Spokesman Heather Roy said today.

"This is just another stealth tax to increase Michael Cullen's coffers. If the Government really wanted to cut teenage drinking, it would support the Life Education Trust - a private initiative that educates children about alcohol and drugs. Tax hikes do not lower consumption, they just hit New Zealanders in the pocket.

"The Government's accidental outlawing of sherry shows how flawed the current legislative programme is. It was clear last night that Jim Anderton thought alco-pops were covered by the bill that was being passed.

"Michael Cullen just wanted to avoid bringing the bad news on Budget night. The Government refused to even tell members of parliament what we were debating until literally minutes before the debate began. That sort of secrecy was a pathetic, cynical ploy to avoid negative media attention. Rushing legislation through under extraordinary urgency eliminates the ordinary scrutiny that bills receive from the select committee process.

"Labour politicians are clearly out-of-touch if they think teenagers are sitting around guzzling sherry or port on a Friday night.

"Parents need to take responsibility for their children's access to alcohol. Slapping a tax on everything is not the answer," Mrs Roy said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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