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Stop The Terrorist Tax!

19 May 2004
Stop The Terrorist Tax!

The Government’s terrorist tax is bad policy, says Tom Lambie, President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

The Border Security Bill imposes a tax on trade to pay for the public good activity of beefing up New Zealand’s border security to satisfy the United States. The Bill is likely to be reported back to Parliament this week, but without the principles that industry has pushed such as equity and justifiability.

“Federated Farmers condemns this legislation as it is based on poor process and lacks sound principles. We call for politicians to act in the interests of the wealth creators of New Zealand by stopping the passing of this Bill until this is remedied.

"The Government made a decision to recover costs from industry but is yet to carry out an analysis of the public good outcomes. On top of this, the cost recovery provisions in the Bill contain no checks and balances nor any of the principles that are present in other legislation that enable cost recovery.

"The Government acknowledges that the process has been badly flawed. The principles should have been developed at the beginning. It is appalling to pass legislation that is recognised as inadequate.

"There is still an opportunity to improve the Bill. Federated Farmers sees no reason for this legislation to be rushed through with inadequate provisions when these issues could be addressed in partnership with industry right now.

"It is totally unacceptable for the Government to expect the industry to accept the extra costs while the Government takes two years to try to fix the problems it created in the first place.

"The Bill must not proceed without adequate checks and balances in place that ensure that any cost recovery is justifiable, transparent, efficient and equitable.

“Increased border security is quite clearly a public good activity like the police or the armed forces. Taxing traders to fund public good activities undermines the competitiveness of New Zealand business,” Mr Lambie concluded.

ENDS

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