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New tax still a tax

Media release 11 May 2004

New tax still a tax

Ministerial pre-Budget promos - most recently for increased export promotion spending - are never accidental, says Business NZ.

"Recycling revenue from the proposed $20 million border security tax on New Zealand trade to increase the size of the Government's overseas trade bureaucracy may reflect good intentions, but it will be interesting to see how well it grows critical export capability," said Business NZ Chief Executive Simon Carlaw.

"Even if the Government should finally decide that it should pay exporters' costs of the new security system it has decided is necessary for New Zealand, the reality remains that many exporters are also importers. They will end up paying the tax along with New Zealand consumers.

"How much more productive it would have been to have had constructive debate with the business community on basic principles and effective security measures before taxing a new dent in New Zealand's international competitiveness."

ENDS

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