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Nats would cut Labour's huge boost to ratepayers

Hon Mark Burton
Minister of Local Government

1 July 2006

Nats would cut Labour's huge boost to ratepayers

Hundreds of thousands more low-income homeowners will be entitled to assistance to pay their rates under an enhanced Rates Rebates Scheme that kicks in on 1 July.

"This is one of a raft of initiatives introduced by this Labour-led Government to benefit New Zealanders," Minister for Local Government Mark Burton said.

“In the 2004-05 rating year fewer than 4000 people actually received a rebate,” he said.

“This investment in our families takes effect from today and will benefit as many as 300,000 New Zealanders, particularly older people and others on lower fixed incomes.

"And now we know that this is exactly the sort of scheme that the National party would scrap if they came to power in order to fund their unaffordable tax cut promises. No doubt that's why National joined the Act party in voting against this part of the Local Government Law Reform Bill during the Committee stage in Parliament last week.

"Dr Brash's tax cuts would cost at least $2.2 billion a year. That's a lot of money to be found and the only way to do that is to significantly cut services. It’s the elderly and low income New Zealanders who would bear the brunt of National's cuts to health, education, social services and community safety. This is clearly one of his targets.

Application forms for the 06/07 year are available from local councils and on the rates rebate website www.ratesrebates.govt.nz which also contains a calculator to help people check their eligibility. People should wait to receive their first rates notice for the coming year before applying for a rebate.

ENDS


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