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Security tax puts income ahead of principle

Wednesday, May 19th, 2004

Principles for sale: Border security tax puts income ahead of principle.

Since the Government has acknowledged the principle of public good is a major consideration in strengthening New Zealand's border security measures, it is disappointing to see it placing income ahead of its principles, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

"After months of negotiation Government has said it intends moving

towards a principles based cost recovery regime," said EMA's spokesman on the issue, Garth Wyllie.

"Government has acknowledged its proposed new border tax is substantially if not wholly for the public's benefit and is prepared to review the tax on the basis of this principle in two years time.

"Since we agree a matter of principle is at stake, why not review the border tax issue now?

"It is disappointing to see Government valuing its income ahead of its principles.

"However Government's contribution of $8 million to the total required over the next two years with business to stump up the other $32 million shows it is not prepared to sell its principles cheaply.

"Our Government's attitude is diametrically opposite to that in North America where both the US and Canadian governments are meeting their own costs as well as contributing to industry costs; Canada's government earlier this month decided to fund up to 75% of industry costs in addition to public good general expenses."

ENDS

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