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Stamps price rise just a back door tax hike.

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Federal Member for Wannon

Hamilton Office 190 Gray St, HAMILTON VIC 3300 Warrnambool Office 73 Kepler St WARRNAMBOOL VIC 3280 Freecall 1300 131 692 E W

Federal Member for Wannon


The Rudd Labor Government will bleed an extra $150 million from taxpayers through a rise in the cost of postage starting next week, Federal Member for Wannon, David Hawker, said today.

"This means local families, pensioners and anybody else wanting to post a letter will be slugged with an extra 5 cents for a standard letter from next Monday, bringing the price of an ordinary stamp to 55 cents,” Mr Hawker said.

Mr Hawker said a one-off "special dividend" of $150 million is being paid by Australia Post in 2008-09, which according to Labor’s Budget Papers "reflects the strong financial position of Australia Post".

However, under questioning in Senate Budget Estimates hearings earlier this year, Australia Post confirmed it expects to raise just less than $155 million per annum through this September price rise in the cost of postage.

"This is a shameless inflationary backdoor tax that adds to the cost of living for ordinary Western Victorians just to help a desperate new Government's bottom line," Mr Hawker said.

"The cost increase is also an added burden for businesses, particularly small businesses, with flow-on inflationary effects throughout the economy.

"This Government claims to be putting downward pressure on inflation and easing cost of living pressures, but this is just another example of it actually doing the exact opposite.

"It is an extraordinary coincidence that the Government is raking $150 million out of Australia Post at a time when Australia Post will be making that much extra through a price rise affecting ordinary Australians.

"It simply defies belief that the Government also claims to be doing all it can for ordinary Western Victorians to ease the cost of living just as it hits them up for more cash.

"The sad reality is that once stamps go up, that extra 5 cents per stamp is going towards the extra $150 million helping prop up the Rudd Labor Government's budget bottom line."

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Media contact: Jane Templeton (03) 5572 1100