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Christchurch rebuild tax another nonsense

David
CUNLIFFE
Revenue Spokesperson

11 March 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT
Christchurch rebuild tax another nonsense

The Government’s plan to tax accommodation for earthquake rebuild workers is more akin to the actions of a vulture picking over a carcass for every last morsel than it is to sensible fiscal management, Labour’s Revenue spokesperson David Cunliffe says.

“The Commissioner of Inland Revenue has ruled that employers who send workers away from their usual homes must pay tax on provided accommodation. The ruling seemingly ignores how there is little remuneration benefit there is to the worker, who must still maintain their family home even though they can’t use it.

“Common sense suggests the Government should be helping and not hindering Christchurch’s recovery. The grasping way this National/United Future administration is imposing a new arbitrary time limit before new taxes are levied just beggars belief.

"IRD says there is no provision in the law for taking a net benefit approach – when no net benefit means no extra tax for the IRD. But it begs the question why not? The Government has failed to overturn the ruling while the IRD imposes more costs on Christchurch and the country.

"This debacle comes hot on the heels of embarrassing plans to charge fringe benefit tax on car parks and cellphone calls, alongside a ridiculous attempt to tax clergy for living in church premises.

"Has Revenue Minister Peter Dunne gotten tired of being a rotating minister and gone on holiday? Or has he signed up to Bill English’s drive to claw every last cent of tax out of New Zealander’s pockets instead of addressing the lack of growth in his ‘grumpy’ economy?

“Mr Dunne should have seen how English’s pickpocketing of paperboys and papergirls last year didn’t produce any jobs either.

"Taxing Christchurch rebuild workers for their temporary accommodation is one giant step too far. Kiwis know a stupid idea when they see one and slowing down and ratcheting up the bill for Christchurch’s recovery is one heck of a dumb idea.”

ENDS

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