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Fed Farmers: Fast Law Is Bad Law

Fast Law Is Bad Law

Fast tracking an important tax bill through Parliament by mid-December will prevent the opportunity for public scrutiny and may result in flawed legislation, said Don Nicolson, Vice President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand.

Mr Nicolson was commenting on the introduction today of the Taxation (Annual Rates and Urgent Measures) Bill. The bill will implement Labour’s costly election promises to expand the Working for Families package and remove interest on student loans.

“Federated Farmers has significant concerns about these changes and we expected an opportunity to comment on them and provide alternatives for a select committee considering the bill,” Mr Nicolson said.

“A Treasury briefing paper released before the election said that interest-free student loans would cost $390 million a year within three years and result in more student debt. And the 'Working for Families' package will do little to encourage investment to increase productivity and improve New Zealand’s export competitiveness.”

Mr Nicolson was also concerned that rushing the bill runs the risk of legislation with unspotted flaws.

“Tax legislation is very complex, with the devil often in the detail and drafting errors are almost inevitable. Curtailing the opportunity for submissions and select committee consideration makes flaws more likely. These will need to be patched up, requiring more legislation.

“The Government must allow the public to have its say on these important changes," said Mr Nicolson.

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