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Australian budget tax on wine may breach CER

Cullen to raise wine issue with Downer
Australian budget tax on wine may breach CER.

13 May 2004 Media Statement

Cullen to raise wine issue with Australian govt

Finance Minister Michael Cullen intends to raise with Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer the issue of the Australian Budget changes to wine tax when they meet tomorrow evening as part of the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum.

"Having now received a further briefing paper from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it does appear that there may be a breach of article 7 (2) of the Closer Economic Relations agreement with Australia.

"The rebate that the Australian Budget announced for Australian wine differentiates on taxation between Australian producers and New Zealand producers which, on the face of it, is a breach.

"I would hope that a way can be found that will preserve both the spirit and the letter of CER," Dr Cullen said.

ENDS

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