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Costello's tax trifecta.

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Before every election Peter Costello and John Howard make the promise that they won’t be introducing new taxes or increasing existing taxes.

But the record shows that they have introduced new taxes or increased existing taxes on 144 occasions since 1996 - 32 in the last few 3 years.

And just last week Peter Costello was at it again - repeating his usual no new taxes pre-election promise.

On the eve of the Budget we now know Costello is about to introduce a new tax and increase two existing taxes.

1. Peter Costello’s Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, has signed off on a plan to introduce another levy on business to fund a new energy regulator to start from 1 July 2004 (see attached). The plan is endorsed by the Prime Minister.

2. Costello’s Agriculture Minister Truss, is about to introduce legislation to increase the research and development levy on rice; and

3. The Treasurer is introducing legislation to increase the rate of both customs and excise duties on aviation fuels.

It all just goes to show that Peter Costello will say one thing before an election and do the opposite after.

No wonder he has the record of the highest taxing Treasurer in Australia’s history.