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Labour's legacy of taxes and racial tension

Labour's legacy of taxes and racial tension

National Party Leader Bill English says Helen Clark appears to have developed yet another case of selective amnesia in the launch of a book heralding the Labour Government's achievements.

"Labour's introduced some 17 sly taxes, and is proposing at least seven more.

"They've fuelled racial tension by policies of separatism and they're allowing welfare dependency to snowball out of control at a time when we're enjoying the best economic conditions in a generation," Mr English says.

"The Prime Minister has personally put New Zealand offside with our traditional friends and allies and then refused to offer a genuine apology.

"She has been prepared to apologise on a number of other occasions, but she won't say sorry to the people that count - the people of New Zealand for her failure to address issues around the Treaty of Waitangi.

"She's dodged more questions than any Prime Minster should be allowed to get away with and she's refusing to hold her Ministers to account for the mistakes that they make," says Mr English.

Below is a brief list of the Labour's real achievements:

*John Tamihere attacks Maori elders

*Parekura Horomia's horror performance in the House

*Jim Sutton and Pete Hodgson call farmers "whingers"

*Clark butchers hope of a US free trade deal

*Phil Goff is photographed holding hands with Arafat

*Jim Anderton wades into Clark's attack on the US

*Clark offends Australia with body bags for trade comment

*Clark 'unconscious' when RMA amendments approved

*Clark makes "law of the jungle" comment

*Clark offends the US with Gore comments

*Clark speculates that Iraq War may push Blair out

*Clark's armchair general comments

*Clark's attacks Knowledge wave conference

*Tamihere attacks Steve Maharey's "bullshitting" policies

*Clark's uses of taxpayer subsidies for holidays

*Sutton says the US was "arm twisting" countries to support Iraq War

*Paintergate, Clark admits signing a painting she didn't paint, later saying she had done this about six or seven times before.

*Alliance poll backdown - Clark was forced to acknowledge she was wrong to accuse the Alliance of "making up" a poll in the crucial Waitakere seat.

*Clark misleads Parliament over Historic Places Trust in response to questions about golden handshakes.

*GE Inquiry - Clark blames Greens and officials before apologising

*Clark describes John Yelash as a "murderer" and taxpayers pay to settle the lawsuit.

*Clark apologises to the Chinese

*Clark apologises to Gays

*Clark apologises to the United States

Then there are Labour's new taxes:

*Income Tax increase (from 33 to 39% for those earning over $60,000)

*Fringe Benefit Tax (from 49 to 64%)

*Trust Income Tax (from 19.5 to 33%)

*Resident Withholding Tax (deduction rate on interest and dividends from either 19.5% or 33% to 39%)

*Tobacco Tax (Increase from approx. $7.20 to $8.20 in average cost of a packet of cigarettes)

*Petrol Tax (4.7c plus GST increase, also 30% increase in road user charges for diesel vehicles)

* Import Fee ($16 on all imported commercial goods for goods with a GST liability of over $50)

* Petrol (ACC Levy) (from 2.3 c to 5.08c per litre of petrol)

*Alcoholic Beverages (beverages with between 14-23% increasing cost from $21 to $38 per litre of alcohol)

* ACC Levies (self-employed increased by 40% and wage earners increased from 10c to $1.20 per $100 of income)

* ACC Motor Vehicle Levies (motorbike increased 57%, car ownership increased 14% and new levies on non-petrol driven motor vehicles. For example non-petrol driven service vehicles levy has increased from $176.10 to $221.31)

*Birth, Deaths and Marriage Certificates (increased by 42.9%)

* Driver Licence Fees (Cost of licence renewal fee from $29.50 to $44.30)

*Fire Service Levy (Increase in household levy by 17.7% and increase in motorists levy by 17.7% collected by insurance companies)

* Fishing Licence (10% increase)

*Cattle Slaughtering Levy (50% increase maximum levy per head of slaughtered cattle)

*Education (Export Education Levy) ($185 charge to institutions per foreign fee-paying student plus 0.45% of their tuition and course fees)

And a string of proposed taxes:

*Flatulence Tax (Greenhouse Gas Research Levy - approx. $8.4 million - 9c per head on sheep, 54c per head on beef cattle & 72c per head on dairy cattle)

*Problem Gambling Levy ($9.8 million)

*Telecommunications Commissioner Levy (a charge on all telecommunications service providers)

*Wine Levies (proposed in the Wine Bill 2002 which would see the cost of implementing new legislation being paid by the industry)

*Electricity Tax (consumers will be charged approx. 0.5c per unit of electricity consumed)

*Regional Road Tax (10c per litre)

*Waste Levy (levy on waste disposal - discussion document not yet released)

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