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Another back-door tax for industry

Shane Ardern National Customs Spokesman

21 May 2004

Another back-door tax for industry

Labour is billing trade industries for new border security initiatives so it can spend more of its burgeoning surplus on politically correct social engineering, says National's Customs spokesman, Shane Ardern.

He says the trade tax is nothing more than another back-door tax on industry.

Customs Minister Rick Barker has confirmed the Government will push ahead with a trade tax to be levied on exporters, importers, and goods in transit to pay for new border security measures

Mr Ardern says it's like the Fart Tax all over again.

"Official papers show the $20 million tax is an arbitrary figure that is unsubstantiated. But this Government is salivating at the opportunity to grab more tax, so is continuing with it regardless.

"The Government has even admitted it is wrong by slightly changing the proportion of the new tax industry will have to pay.

"Border security benefits all New Zealanders and after 9/11 we do need to reassess our border security. But why is Labour pretending that somehow or other these costs must be met by industry?

"This is another ridiculous tax introduced at a time when the Government has record surpluses and when industry is struggling with increasing compliance costs and a rising exchange rate," says Mr Ardern.

Ends

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