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Copeland calls for Scrooge Cullen to give it up

Copeland calls for Uncle Scrooge Cullen to give it up

United Future revenue spokesperson Gordon Copeland today strongly questioned Prime Minister Helen Clark concerning the prospects for some long overdue tax relief for hardworking New Zealanders.

Mr Copeland asked “Even after her Finance Minister publicly acknowledges that he has $520 million cash left, why does he still refuse to adjust the tax brackets for the effects of inflation?”

The Prime Minister responded by saying that this year’s budget announced tax reductions to take effect from 1 April 2005. However, the Family Assistance package then announced was not a tax cut.

Mr Copeland has vigorously campaigned during the last two years for the present tax brackets to be adjusted for the effects of inflation.

“The continued failure of the government to make that adjustment is blatantly unfair and unjustified,” he said. “The present tax brackets were established on 1 April 2000, but by 1 April 2005 cumulative inflation will be about 13%.

“This means that the $38,000 bracket, when the rate changes from 19.5 cents to 33 cents in the dollar, should be $43,000. Likewise the $60,000 bracket, when the rate changes from 33 cents to 39 cents in the dollar, should be $68,000.

“Dr Cullen’s failure to adjust these brackets means that in real terms, that is, after allowing for the change in the cost of living, all of New Zealand’s 3,127,000 taxpayers have seen their taxes increased during the term of this government.

“This is increasing tax by stealth even in circumstances where, by his own admission, Dr Cullen has more than enough cash in the bank to fund the approximately $500 million cost involved in changing the bracket levels.

“Even worse, the government has given no indication that it intends to address this issue any time soon. I don’t intend to give up. Simply stated, that $500 million is in the government coffers when it should be in the pockets and purses of taxpayers

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