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It's Not Your Money Minister, Pay It Back

It's Not Your Money Minister, Pay It Back

ACT New Zealand Commerce Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today it was outrageous that Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel believed it was simply "not practical" to pay back the $11.5 million which the Building Industry Authority had accumulated through overcharging.

"The Minister has finally replied to the letter I wrote to her four months ago, on behalf of hundreds of building owners who contacted me wanting to know if they would be entitled to get back the money they'd paid to the BIA - in excess of the normal levies", Miss Coddington said.

"It has taken two chase-up letters, plus a Parliamentary Question from Hon Richard Prebble, for this Minister to respond. Now she turns around and says, `returning the surpluses to the many thousands of building owners who paid the levy over the past ten years, is not practical'.

"Instead, she intends to pass new legislation allowing the BIA - already proved to be dysfunctional - to use these funds, plus interest.

"And if that was not bad enough, it's clear from the Minister's letter - attached - that increases in levies are in the wind.

"This is not good enough. I have lodged further Parliamentary Questions asking for the largest single amount owing from the surpluses. I suspect big construction companies will be owed millions.

"It's their money. They should get it back," Miss Coddington said.

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