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Budget Gives to Business But Not to Ratepayers

MEDIA RELEASE
20th May 2005

BUDGET GIVES TO BUSINESS BUT NOT TO LOW AND FIXED-INCOME RATEPAYERS.

STROKE OF THE PEN WOULD BRING RATES RELIEF THIS YEAR

The 12th April pre-budget announcement of a rates relief package was greeted with real appreciation by ratepayers who have been faced with ever-increasing council rates bills over the last few years.

The relief will apply to up to 300,000 ratepayers who will qualify for rebates of up to $500 a year.

The total cost to government has been estimated at $50 million a year.

But this relief will not take effect until 1st July next year – 2006.

Glenfield Ratepayers chairman David Thornton said today “Now that the total budget has been presented ratepayers can feel justifiably aggrieved that they are again being forced to pay rising rates bills while business generally gets a total of $1.4 billion tax cuts.

“Personal Income Tax changes announced in the budget are also revealed to be both miserly and some years away, with no relief to low income ratepayers in the next financial year which will see big rate increases being proposed by many local and regional councils.

“For a measly $50 million Dr Cullen could bring a $10 a week benefit to low income ratepayers to take effect on 1st July this year.

“The mechanism is already in place through the Rates Rebate Act 1973.

“All that is needed to introduce the new relief is an Order in Council and the Governor-General’s signature – a stroke of the pen.”

ENDS.

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