Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Peter Dunne – Leaders Letter 24 May 2007

Peter Dunne – Leaders Letter 24 May 2007

Last week's Budget shows clearly what a support party, determined to make a difference, can achieve.

This Budget implements in full the business tax package United Future put before the electorate in 2005. The business tax rate will be cut to 30 cents in the dollar, as we promised, and a new tax rebate regime of 15% will be introduced for research and development, along with more assistance to exporters and skills development.

These moves put New Zealand back on par with our major competitor, Australia, and will be positive for our country's long-term economic development.

In addition, the changes we are proposing to the taxation of income earned overseas by New Zealand companies are long overdue and should make it easier for businesses to stay in New Zealand, even if the need to be close to markets means operating manufacturing plants overseas.

Now, they will not be penalised the way they have been by the New Zealand tax system for doing so.

As Minister of Revenue I am absolutely delighted at being able to deliver this $3.4 billion package over the next four years. But there is more.

The changes to the tax rebates for charitable donations are all United Future policy.

From April next year all personal and corporate donations will be tax deductible – a vast improvement on the current business restrictions and the maximum personal rebate of $633. The whole point of this initiative is to promote a stronger culture of giving in our country, and to recognise the positive role charitable and oluntary agencies play. I also welcome the changes to KiwiSaver. May 24, 2007 No. 7

In a speech late last year I floated the idea of using tax credits for KiwiSaver contributions as a way of introducing non-inflationary tax cuts, so I am delighted to see the $20 a week member's tax credit the will be introduced form July this year.

Many businesses I have spoken with since the Budget are strongly supportive of the enhancements to KiwiSaver – even the compulsory matching contributions employers will be required to make from April next year. In fact, their only criticism seems to be that the scheme has not been compulsory for everyone from now.

My view is that if the uptake of Kiwisaver is strong, as all the signs suggest, then it will be only a matter of time before we should move to make it a compulsory scheme for all. In that regard, I think National is playing a dangerous game by refusing to commit to the future of the new KiwiSaver arrangements. If New Zealanders react positively to these new arrangements, as they seem likely to, it will simply be foolhardy for National or any other party not to back KiwiSaver fully. Overall, it is no coincidence that having a United Future Minister of Revenue coincides with the biggest tax reform Budget in 20 years.

The abrupt resignation of Gordon Copeland as a United Future MP was a shock, given his previous denials that he intended doing so.

It raises again the question of whether list MPs should be allowed to leave their parties and remain in Parliament. When United Future last considered this issue early last year, our Caucus decided unanimously that list MPs have no moral authority to be parliamentary representatives other than that provided by the political party under which they were elected, and that if they leave their party, should also resign their seat in Parliament.

Gordon Copeland was part of that decision. By his own admission, he is a man of integrity, so I am expecting him to demonstrate that integrity by standing down from Parliament in due course.

They say every dark cloud has a silver lining. That is certainly so in this case. New members joining United Future since the resignation are outnumbering those leaving by about 4 to 1.

It seems our role as a moderate, centre party, committed to social justice, and doing the best for all New Zealand parents, children and families, has just become a whole lot stronger and more attractive to the wider public. We will now be moving on with vigour and enthusiasm to promote that forward looking and inclusive message, rather than looking back to the past and trying to fight yesterday's battles all over again.

This year's Budget showed just how much even a small, but dedicated team of MPs can achieve. Now, we are looking to next year, and we have already begun to focus on the gains we want to make in Budget 2008.

Kind regards to you all,


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Political Twins, And On Labour Extending Its Wage Subsidy Scheme

A quick quiz for the weekend. Which political party currently represented in Parliament issued a press release yesterday that contained these stirring passages:
“[We have] long supported a free trade and free movement area between Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom…on trade, immigration and investment, New Zealand must favour countries who share our values. New Zealand must do its part to reinforce freedom and democracy around the world by diversifying our markets and building stronger relationships with those who share our values... More>>


Parliament Adjourns: Adjournment Debate: Speaker Trevor Mallard

The 52 Parliament has sat for the last time before the September Election. It sat for 245 days... More>>


E-Cigarettes: Vaping Legislation Passes

Landmark legislation passed today puts New Zealand on track to saving thousands of lives and having a smokefree generation sooner rather than later, Associate Health Minister, Jenny Salesa says. The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) ... More>>


National: $4 Billion Investment To End Wellington’s Congestion Woes

A National Government will invest another $4 billion in transport infrastructure across Wellington, igniting the economy and delivering the congestion-busting solutions the region has long been crying out for, National Party Leader Judith Collins says. ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Virtues (and Fluffed Opportunities) Of The Operation Burnham Report

One unspoken rule of thumb in any official public inquiry is : whatever you do, don’t conclude you were made to listen to “a litany of lies” even if the evidence of a deliberate cover-up is right there under your nose. In that respect, the report ... More>>


Horizon Research Limited: How Judith Collins Stopped The Bleeding

Horizon Research includes questions on voting from time to time in its surveys – for both forthcoming referenda and general elections. More>>

Your Vote 2020: Bringing Election Coverage To Viewers Across TVNZ Channels And Platforms

As New Zealand gets ready to head to the ballot box this September, 1 NEWS is bringing voters comprehensive coverage and analysis of this year’s General Election. TVNZ’s coverage will draw on the depth of experience held across the 1 NEWS team, says Graeme ... More>>

Economy: 30% Believe Households Worse Off, 298,000 Expect To Lose Jobs

64% of New Zealanders feel the economic position of their households is the same or better than a year ago – and 30% think it is worse or much worse, while 298,000 think they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months. Households’ perceptions ... More>>

State Services Commission: Findings Of Investigation Into COVID-19 Active Cases Privacy Breach

Deputy State Services Commissioner Helene Quilter has today announced the findings of an investigation into a breach of privacy regarding sensitive personal information. The investigation looked into who or what caused the disclosure of the information, ... More>>

International Security: New Zealand Suspends Extradition Treaty With Hong Kong

The New Zealand Government has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and made a number of other changes in light of China’s decision to pass a national security law for Hong Kong, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says. More>>






InfoPages News Channels