New Zealand First Spokesman for Defence, Ron Mark MP, today urged the government to provide the tax exemption for New
Zealand soldiers in East Timor which under the Income Tax Act, is within the powers of the government.
“The Prime Minister has recently acknowledged that across the board our lower ranked Defence personnel need a pay
increase. As a start, why then, has she not already given the New Zealand troops serving in the Operational Area of East
Timor a tax break?
“Section CB11.(3) of the Income Tax Act provides for service personnel deployed in an operational area to be paid tax
“The base salary of the lowest paid serviceman in East Timor is $20,250, which is pathetic for the risks they take.
“This government can deliver a tax free wage now. To not do so belies the concerns they say they have and New Zealanders
will judge them as a bunch of cheapskates who are more concerned about gathering revenue than paying our troops fairly.