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GST on rates is a rip-off

20 July, 2004

Dunne tells Grey Power that GST on rates is a rip-off

United Future leader Peter Dunne today told a Hawke's Bay Grey Power audience that he recognised the particular unfairness of pensioners and others on limited incomes having to pay GST on their rates bills - "a tax on a tax".

"It's unfair full stop, but it's doubly hard on those who already have to watch every dollar they spend, and have little or no means of boosting their income," Mr Dunne told the meeting in Napier.

He told the audience that Goods and Services Tax (Exclusion of Rates) Amendment Bill, a Member's Bill sponsored by United Future's Gordon Copeland, would come before Parliament next month, and he hoped that other parties would get behind it to fix "an anomaly that has become an injustice - and a hip-pocket injustice at that".

Australia and Canada exempted rates from their GST systems, Mr Dunne said, with both having adopted the taxation regime after New Zealand put its system in place.

"It's quite simply wrong and it needs to be fixed. Other tax jurisdictions have recognised that it is wrong.

"And in speaking to a group that is hugely representative of older New Zealanders on fixed incomes, I think it's time the Government put this right.

"No taxation dollar should be taken unfairly from the pockets of New Zealanders, and I'm afraid this one just doesn't stand up to fair scrutiny.

"And United Future is now about to hold all parties to account for this in Parliament next month," he said.

ENDS

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