Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Battle Looms Over Secret Copper Tax Submissions

COALITION FOR FAIR INTERNET PRICING
MEDIA RELEASE
TUESDAY 8 OCTOBER 2013

Battle Looms Over Secret Copper Tax Submissions

The Coalition for Fair Internet Pricing will use all legal means to obtain submissions on the proposed copper tax that officials said yesterday the government intends to keep secret. (see http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/9253212/Ministry-accused-of-secrecy)

As a first step, it is calling on Communications and IT Minister Amy Adams to reconsider the government’s position and order her officials to immediately release all responses to the recent discussion document on the Review of the Telecommunications Act 2001.

It says this is necessary to ensure the review process benefits from transparency and contestability. The responses are in any case subject to the Official Information Act.

A spokeswoman for the coalition, Sue Chetwin, also chief executive of Consumer NZ, said secrecy risked creating errors that could embarrass the government and lead to inappropriate policy.

“We know there were secret talks for nearly a year between copper network monopolist Chorus and the government, as revealed by Chorus chief executive Mark Ratcliffe on TV3’s The Nation and prime minister John Key in parliament,” Ms Chetwin said.

“Because those talks were secret, the information that was exchanged between the monopolist and the government was unable to be peer reviewed – and that led to Mr Key making his entirely inaccurate claims that Chorus could go broke if the copper tax is not implemented.

“We accept that some data from some submissions might need to be withheld to protect commercial confidentiality. However, the more material that is available in the public domain, the more confidence the government can have that the information on which it bases policy is accurate, and the more confidence the public can have that the process is not being driven by undisclosed or improper considerations.

“We don’t think this review of the 2001 Act should be happening at all, because it appears to be about nothing other than the price the Chorus monopoly can charge for copper broadband and voice services – but if it is to happen it should at least be done with the utmost good faith, transparency and integrity.”

The coalition’s response to the discussion document has already been made public and was based on analysis by top economists Covec, which in turn was peer-reviewed by Network Strategies and found to be conservative.

The Covec study found the government’s proposed copper tax would cost Kiwi households and businesses between $390 million and $449 million between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2019 over the price for copper broadband and voice services that Commerce Commission work indicates is fair. The latest demands by Chorus, which paid $95 million in dividends to its shareholders last year, would take this cost to Kiwi households and businesses to $979 million.

The Coalition for Fair Internet Pricing was founded by Consumer NZ, InternetNZ, and the Telecommunication Users Association of New Zealand (TUANZ) and is supported by CallPlus and Slingshot, the Federation of Maori Authorities, Greypower, Hautaki Trust, KiwiBlog, KLR Holdings, National Urban Maori Authorities, New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations, Orcon, Rural Women, Te Huarahi Tika Trust and the Unite Union.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Labour's 'Future Of Work': Major Reform Of Careers And Apprenticeships

The next Labour Government will transform careers advice in high schools to ensure every student has a personalised career plan, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

State Investments Management: Treasury Likes IRD, Not Education Or Corrections

The Inland Revenue Department has scored an 'A' in the first tranche of the Treasury's investor confidence rating for state agencies that manage significant Crown investments and assets, gaining greater autonomy as a result, while the Corrections and Education ministries gained a 'C' rating. More>>

ALSO:

Govt Goal: NZ To Be "Predator Free" By 2050

Prime Minister John Key has today announced the Government has adopted the goal of New Zealand becoming Predator Free by 2050... “That’s why we have adopted this goal. Our ambition is that by 2050 every single part of New Zealand will be completely free of rats, stoats and possums." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The IOC’s Treatment Of Russian Sport, And Lone Wolf Terrorism

A blanket ban on Russian athletes would also have exposed the IOC to criticism that its treatment of Russia would have been marked contrast to its treatment say, of the track and field team from Kenya – a country about which the IOC has very similar doping concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Sounds Like A Plan: Auckland Council Receives Unitary Plan Recommendations

A key milestone in New Zealand planning history was reached today when the Independent Hearings Panel delivered the reports containing its recommendations on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan. More>>

ALSO:

National Park Expansion: Forests And Coast Of Kahurangi Protected

Five parcels of high value land totalling more than 890 hectares have been formally gazetted as part of the National Park. More>>

ALSO:

PPP Go-Ahead: SkyPath Gets Unanimous Support

Auckland’s SkyPath project has been given the go-ahead to be delivered through a public private partnership, after a unanimous decision at today’s Finance and Performance Committee. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Reserve Bank, The UN Shortlist, And Trump

Can there really be there any link between the US presidential elections and yesterday’s RBNZ signals on interest rates and the NZ dollar? Well, maybe. And it would be this: the improving US economy is reportedly putting a tailwind behind the US dollar, and rendering the actions of our Reserve Bank virtually irrelevant. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On What John Key Should Be Asking Joe Biden

No doubt, US Vice-President Joe Biden will be updating Prime Minister John Key on the chances of a TPP vote taking place in the ‘ lame duck’ session of Congress that’s held between the November’s election and the inauguration of a new President in January. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news