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Keating & Dawkin's latest cover-up:treasury finds GST universally accepted in New Zealand

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Senator Jim Short Deputy Leader of*the Opposition, in the Senate Shadow Minister for Finance 8 c

Assisting the Leader on Commonweatth/State Relations

SMF 119/92


The Keating Labor Government has deliberately suppressed a Commonwealth Treasury report that the GST has been universally accepted in New Zealand. ~

The~report, suppressed on the orders of Prime Minister Keating and Treasurer Dawkins, also blows out of the water the

Government's claim that the GST is difficult to administer.

In fact, the Treasury task force which went to New Zealand to study the effects of the GST, introduced there in 1986, found there have been few problems.

On the contrary, the only opposition to the GST has been from tax cheats — a fact welcomed by the vast majority of New Zealanders.

The Treasury task force went to New Zealand last year. Since then, their 24-page report has been suppressed by Keating and Dawkins in this latest Government cover-up to conceal the truth from the Australian electorate.

It is an outrage that Keating and Dawkins have tried to hide this vitally important information. It is further evidence that the Prime Minister is not prepared to tolerate a full and open debate about the benefits of the GST for Australia.

The Labor Government' s contribution to the debate so fair has been a slick mix of distortion, misinformation and occasional outright lies fed to the public by a well-greased publicity machine. Almost daily now, Keating is being exposed for the political

charlatan that he is. Remember that Keating, as Treasurer, supported the GST.

When the Senate resumes on Monday, the Opposition will demand the immediate tabling of the unexpurgated version of this Treasury report which the Government has sought to hide, and not any censored version which the Government has been forced to release under the Freedom of Information Act.

Melbourne 5 December 1992 For interview, phone Rod Woolley (06)277 3119 (w) or 288 9355 (h)


Kiwis love GST, says secret_ ■ . . ii „ . . ■ ■ ·; .. '.· t i r | * ~ ν:=ίίτ·.Γ'Î’ By PAUL CLEARY.. CANBERRA: Governm ent claims that New Zealand’s goods ; and services tax (GST) has been an administrative nightmare are ; contradicted by. a confidential : Treasury paper which says it has Seen universally accepted. Tfie paper :also suggests". the . GST has discouraged ;tax avoid­ance and caused utile·, upheaval during its introduction.The Treasury minute paper stands to embarrass the Govem- . meat because it is at odds with claims by. senior G overnm ent ministers that: New Zealanders are deeply resentful about the tax.The paper was obtained by the Herald under the Freedom of Information Act It was written by.Treasury officials· after έ visit to New Zealand in September last year that was aimed at learning more about the GST so that Treasury could provide a full analysis of the Opposition's Fightback statement »iiri


n Large- sections of the 2Lpage antL.a specjkLGST^ paper have been.deleted, but a u>.

surprising num ber of highly posi­ tive comments remain. Sections that were deleted,·. according. to. the Treasury, “concern disciis- , _ . .

sions . held up confidence" with: ' of credit was" give td the appar-.· officials and individuals. . ehtly very* effective ediicdtibn.

ordinating Office marketing,.ttih . tax: td. the getiefal. ptipulatton.^ “The- implementation of· the .. G ST was universally

, have gone vety smoothly and slo t

“attitudes: .to , GST”]v has 5 . been,% 0 The report.ais deleted,, b u t this ί ΐ foTbwediBy?· ^«$ehflh.'depiftoii another which begins “further evidence of the acceptance of the GST is th at"'an d the piper gtiei on to say: v ' ;■ '· . · : :

“There is virtually no lobbying for changes to the GST and no tax planning activities by accountants or lawyers. This contrasts strongly with the income-tax system"

Moreover; the paper says the GST’s introduction in 1986 was done with a m inim um of

upheaval because of an extensive public education program ;. · · “An extensive education cam­ paign was carried out with IRD [Internal Revenue Department] concentrating on actual taxpayers

Ah imptift&htJectipn^headed .^caMmgnu”,'i’i, ... . 4 _ · · ■ .... “............. " - · - 0 The report, also notes thaElKdi

Ft^endhtieptitnient employed ih: additional. 1,000 people to admin­ ister. the GST.'This is similar to what: the .Opposition plans,, as . it has allocated $125.million for the: implementation, of the tax_: . '

However; the Government hasi sought to portray New Zealan­ ders as, hostile to the G S T

A.month ago, the Prime. Minis­ ter, M t Keating; told Parliament: on . various occasions that small; biisinesi people ih New Zealand: no longer enjoyed Sundays at.the:

beach because; they had. to do; GST paperwork. Last month, he tabled a G ST return form and an accompany-

Continued Page 9

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