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Copeland: BRT attack 'Off Target'

Media statement
For immediate release
Friday, 2 July 2004

Copeland: BRT attack ‘Off Target’

The Business Roundtable’s criticism of United Future’s campaign against GST being levied on property rates is ill-informed, illogical and completely misses the mark, according to United Future’s revenue spokesman, Gordon Copeland.

The BRT’s executive director, Roger Kerr, claims the campaign, if successful, would be anti-business in that it would favour local bodies over businesses.

“Mr Kerr needs to get his facts straight. He talks about rates being exempt from GST, whereas United Future wants rates zero-rated for GST purposes,” said Mr Copeland. “It’s a crucial difference and would leave local bodies in the same position relative to businesses as before.

“As for being anti-business, the BRT claim is nonsense. All businesses and farmers would relish not having to pay 12.5% on their rates and I imagine business would welcome the prospect of their customers having more money in their pockets available for buying goods and services,” said Mr Copeland.

“Also Mr Kerr overlooks the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who are in the business of residential housing investment. They will all be better off.

“Mr Kerr goes on to raise the bogey of a general taxation increase to cover the Government’s loss of GST revenue. This argument is illogical coming from an organisation that constantly complains the Government already has sufficiently large surpluses to cut all manner of taxes.

“It’s time for the BRT to walk the talk and support my GST off Rates Bill which will likely be debated in the House on 4 August. If enacted it will put $260 million per annum back into the pockets of NZ ratepayers.”

Ends

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