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Labour wants GST increase on rates delayed

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Aug 24 NZPA - Ratepayers should only be required to pay 12.5 percent GST on their rates bills for the current year, the Labour Party says.

It has called on the Government to support its suggestion that the increase in GST, due on October 1, not be applied to local government rates bills until the next rates year.

Labour leader Phil Goff said the Government had made similar exemptions for five year finance leases, lay-by sales and insurance contracts.

"If it's good enough to do it for people at the top why not give a transitional period of adjustment to people paying rates," he said.

Some councils have told ratepayers that they will pay the lower GST rate if they pay their entire rates bill before October 1.

Mr Goff said many families could not afford to do that and should not be disadvantaged.

"Rates came in on July 1, everybody got their bills, on October 1 they'll need new bills because the increase will come into effect. Let's give them a fair go, let's give them a break and let's take the GST increase off it for the transitional period."

Mr Goff said delaying the increase would be fair and give people a break before the impact was felt.

"We're saying let's not discriminate against those families that can't afford to pay their rates in bulk right at the beginning of the year.

"We challenge the Government to support it," Mr Goff said.

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