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Rudd Government embraces Coalition proposal.



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Mon, 31st March 2008 RUDD GOVERNMENT EMBRACES COALITION PROPOSAL

The Hon Peter Dutton MP Shadow Minister for Finance, Competition Policy and Deregulation

Shadow Minister for Finance, Competition Policy and Deregulation today has said the draft legislation to remove hidden taxes and fees in the price of goods and services released by the Rudd Government is just a watered down version of earlier draft legislation released by the Coalition.

''Consumers are the winners following the Rudd Government's decision to embrace the Coalition's proposal to ensure consumers know the full price of purchases,'' Mr Dutton said.

''The Coalition identified the need to reveal hidden taxes and fees in the price of goods and services and undertook extensive consultation to address the issue.

''However the Rudd Government has moved to exclude the need for postage and handling to be included in the full price of purchases.

''Postage and handling is a significant component, often hidden in the fine print, and there is no logical reason to exclude the fee from the full price of purchases.

''Excluding postage and handling, especially in situations where the fee is a fixed cost, is an arbitrary exclusion undermining the intention of the changes and the Coalition will be looking very closely at the decision.

''On the whole, the Rudd Government has continued its practice of 'me-tooism' by making only cosmetic changes to the draft legislation developed by the Coalition Government.

''Minister Bowen's claim that the Rudd Government is 'serious about empowering consumers and strengthening the consumer's right to know the total price of a good or service' is unjustified self promotion considering the draft legislation was modelled by the Coalition.

''The implications associated with the other changes announced by Minister Bowen will require further investigation.''