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Earthquake levy must now be considered

30 August 2011

Earthquake levy must now be considered

The Government must consider a temporary earthquake levy to help address the skyrocketing costs of the Canterbury earthquakes, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

The Government this morning upgraded the cost of the Canterbury earthquakes by $4 billion. Damage to homes was more severe than had been earlier estimated. The Green Party had previously suggested a temporary earthquake levy on all income earners over $48,000 similar to one imposed in Australia after their costly floods.

“A small temporary earthquake levy is the fairest way to pay for the rebuilding of Christchurch,” said Dr Norman.

“The Key Government has previously rejected the idea of a levy stating we had the funds to cover our liabilities.

“Now it turns out the Government was wrong by four billion dollars. It is poor economic management to have not managed the Government’s finances in a way that can absorb these kinds of shocks.

“It’s now time to investigate a temporary levy on income.

“New Zealanders have indicated they are prepared to fund a levy as the fairest way to share the costs of the earthquake. Ignoring this option in favour of more debt is bad economic management.

“Residents of Christchurch have already been hit with rates rises and will be exempt from this levy,” said Dr Norman.

More information on the Green Party’s levy proposal:
http://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/how_an_earthquake_levy_could_look_green_party_research_1.pdf

ENDS

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