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Australian Tax Move Highlights Lab-Alliance Folly

Hon Max Bradford
Minister for Enterprise and Commerce

22 September 1999

Australian Tax Move Highlights Labour-Alliance Folly

Australia’s plan to lower its company tax rate below New Zealand’s, highlights the folly of Centre-Left plans to hike tax rates here,” Enterprise and Commerce Minister Max Bradford said today.

“We have to keep our company tax rate competitive with Australia’s or we will lose companies overseas and not be able to attract new investment. In both cases that means losing jobs,” Mr Bradford said.

Mr Bradford was commenting on Australia’s intention to reduce its company tax rate to 30 percent by 2001, and cut capital gains taxes.

This compares to New Zealand’s company tax rate of 33 percent, but without a capital gains tax. The current Government remains firmly committed to bringing down the company tax rate to match Australian moves.

Mr Bradford said it was economic madness for the Labour-Alliance bloc to talk of increasing taxes at a time when our closest trading partner and competitor was slashing theirs.

“Between them, these two coalition parties are proposing to:

 increase the top personal tax rate to 39 percent,
 impose a 5 percent tax on all imports,
 re-impose wealth taxes on commercial property,
 tax all financial transactions, including savings,
 introduce capital gains taxes,
 and reintroduce death duties.

“This will amount to billions of dollars of extra costs on New Zealand businesses, not including the cost of reversing ACC changes and introducing paid parental leave.

“The real cost will be jobs and competitiveness,” Mr Bradford said.


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