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Hops and export education – what’s the difference?

Hops and export education – what’s the difference?

“English language schools can’t understand why the hops industry is being treated so much better than the export education industry”, said Barbara Takase, chairperson of APPEL , after Damian O’Connor’s media release today announcing the introduction of the Hops Industry Restructuring Bill.

“When the Government decided to introduce a $4m odd export education tax on April 23 this year, they introduced it without warning or consultation. They sent us an abridged version of the relevant Cabinet paper on May 3 and over the last five months they haven’t consulted with us at all!”

“In comparison, the hops industry was able to vote on the bill’s proposals at an AGM last year. We contacted the hops industry and understand that they are happy with the bill. We wish them luck but would like to get the same sort of responsiveness out of the Government.”

The latest bill highlights that the export education industry will be the only industry with a Government-imposed industry tax if the Tertiary Education Reform Bill is passed. Every other industry requires industry approval of a business plan before a levy can be set by the relevant Minister. Without industry support, it is not a levy but a tax. An Appendix provides details on other legislation.

“Damian O’Connor said that the hops bill was ‘supported by the majority of the industry, was fair to minority interests, and was in the national interest’. It is a pity that his fellow Ministers do not value the same criteria in export education.”

“We are deeply concerned that the Government may ram through its export education tax in the next few weeks. It has not used the last five months to improve upon its previous lack of consultation. We see little likelihood of a change in mood now.”

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