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National plans fair go for racing

Don Brash MP National Party Leader

27 August 2005

National plans fair go for racing

National Party Leader Don Brash says National plans to change the unfair taxation regime which currently applies to racing, and align it with other competitive industries, like casinos.

Dr Brash today is to present the cup to the winner of the prestigious Fair Tax Mudgway Stakes at the Hastings race meeting.

National has naming rights to a race on the programme, now called the Party Vote National Premier, which has been generously supported by racing interests.

Dr Brash says National recognises that racing, breeding and horse ownership are facets of a unique agribusiness that contributes to the New Zealand economy through employment, exports and related industries.

"New Zealand racing contributes $1.5 billion per annum to the economy, supports 18,300 full-time jobs and exports $130 million worth of horses.

"But thoroughbred racing and standardbred racing have been in relative decline for some years. In part at least this is because the gaming duty takes about six times as much out of the average dollar bet on racing as it does out of the average dollar bet in a casino."

National's policy for the sector includes a plan to bring gaming duties paid by the racing industry into line with those paid by casinos, at an estimated cost in lost revenue of around $25 million annually.

"There is a real tax inequity when racing is compared to other gaming competitors.

"This is an iconic New Zealand industry, steeped in history. We want to make sure it's not handicapped by an unfair tax system.

"Just as we aim to do with the racing industry, National's wider fair tax plan will also free all hard-working New Zealanders from paying too much tax, and encourage productivity and enterprise," says Dr Brash.


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