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Tax Debate Puts Middle NZ On Horns Of Dilemma

6 August 1999


Struggling middle income New Zealanders are genuinely scared a Labour/Alliance government will raise their taxes, says United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne.

However, he adds, at the same time they are equally wary that a National-led government will not do much at all to reduce their overall tax burden.

He says the government's reliance on the erratic and flaky Mauri Pacific MPs to pass its proposed April 2000 tax reductions heightens their concern.

"Middle New Zealand is on the horns of a dilemma."

"It knows where it stands with the Labour/Alliance bloc - more taxes and increased government charges are inevitable to pay for their spending promises."

"But it is unconvinced any tax cuts introduced by National, with or without the support of the unreliable Mauri Pacific MPs, will offset rising indirect charges in other areas."

"Middle New Zealand knows it is in a lose/lose situation under Labour/Alliance, but fear the best they can hope for from National is a win/lose situation which leaves them no better off than they are now," he says.

Mr Dunne says middle New Zealand's dilemma highlights the fact that successive government have ignored their plight, seeing them only as a source of tax revenue for spending programmes targetted at everyone else but them.

"Middle New Zealand, quiet, tolerant and long-suffering, needs parties like United to champion its cause; otherwise, it will continue to be ignored, and will feel increasingly alienated and left out of our political tapestry."

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"And when middle New Zealand loses confidence, the country as a whole will lose confidence."

"The current dilemma over tax policies shows we are perilously close to that point now," he says.

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