INDEPENDENT NEWS

Health tax today - what about tomorrow?

Published: Mon 7 May 2001 09:30 AM
Media release 4 May 2001
Health tax today - what about tomorrow?
A special health tax might sound good but the track record of "dedicated" taxes is not good, says Business NZ Chief Executive Simon Carlaw.
"Special taxes have a habit of being called something else to fudge the fact that they are just as much a tax as those on income or consumption, or for accident insurance, the fire service or anything else.
"Nor is there any binding assurance that they will remain dedicated to their original purpose over time. Sooner or later governments find irresistible reasons to fiddle - petrol taxes are an example.
The real point is the total quantity of all forms of taxation from central and local government. This is not a time for this Government to be considering more tax increases despite the pressures that have contributed to the recently revealed spending blowout.
"The blunt fact is that New Zealand will be able to afford a first world health system when the New Zealand economy is growing and transforming sufficiently to provide a first world income."
ENDS

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