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Bill to abolish tariffs suffers heavy defeat

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Roger Douglas
Roger Douglas

Wellington, May 5 NZPA - ACT MP Sir Roger Douglas put up a bill in Parliament tonight that would have abolished all tariffs on imported goods, and saw it go down to a 116-5 defeat.

Sir Roger said tariffs made goods dearer and people poorer.

"In 1998, when National actually seemed to believe in something, they passed an Act that would have abolished all tariffs by 2006," he said.

"Today National has lost its way and now doesn't appear to believe in private enterprise and competition."

Sir Roger said tariffs harmed the countries that imposed them by making consumers worse off.

National MP John Hayes said the bill was "a tiny piece of political theatre" which would get rid of the existing legislation which provided the framework for tariffs and their administration -- and the safeguards which had been put into free trade agreements.

"This is not what we need at this time on the back of a recession," he said.

Labour MPs also strongly opposed the bill.

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