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Tax reform needed to entice expats home

Tax reform needed to entice expats home

National Party Leader Don Brash says New Zealand needs urgent tax reform if we are going to entice expatriates to come home and stop the brain drain.

He is commenting on reports that the Government will embark on a campaign to lure expatriates back to New Zealand in a desperate attempt to meet skill shortages in the labour market.

“Labour’s charm offensive on expatriates, suggesting they will come home because of family ties, is flawed because it provides no incentives for people to return,” says Dr Brash.

“New Zealand needs a tax system that provides incentives for hard work and enterprise.

“More than 28,000 New Zealanders have departed these shores for Australia in the past twelve months. That is an astounding 550 people a week.

“The latest figures show a worrying 18% increase in the number of permanent or long-term departures from New Zealand to Australia in 2004 after a gradual decline over the past few years. Kiwis are voting with their feet and leaving this country in growing numbers," says Dr Brash.

“Asking them to come back simply because they have family here and New Zealand is a good place to bring up children is going to have little effect.

“Labour has done nothing to close the gap between incomes in New Zealand and those in Australia, nothing to stem the flow of New Zealanders heading overseas, and nothing to help bring them back.

Tax relief for hard-working New Zealanders would be a good place to start," says Dr Brash.

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