The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Parties scrap over alcohol tax

NZLN - Tax - imageA political stoush has erupted between two small parties both hoping to be elected to Parliament on 20 September 2014. The Act party, which realistically needs to win the seat of Epsom to be represented, has attacked the rival Conservative Party which is hoping to break the 5% threshold as it is unlikely to win an electorate.

As part of an attack on the recent Conservative Party admission that their policies were not fully costed, Act leader Jamie Whyte claimed that Colin Craig’s Conservative Party would hike up excise tax on alcohol in order to pay for their other policies. Whyte estimated that alcohol excise tax would have to rise from $2 to $14 just to cover the Conservative’s tax policy. This would mean an $18 bottle of wine would rise to $30. The Deputy Leader of the Conservatives, Christine Rankin, is reported to have confirmed this policy at a meeting.

While leader Colin Craig confirmed the Conservative Party was interested in the Law Commission’s recommendation to increase alcohol excise by 50 percent, he said the money was not needed to fund their tax policy. Voters will have the final say on Saturday with Act expected to make it into Parliament due to an accommodation with National, while recent polls have, for the first time, suggested the Conservative Party may pick up more than 5%.