Dunne calls for changes to the tax system
NZPA | Saturday, 1 September 2007

Taxes are too high and unevenly imposed, UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne has told his party's annual conference.

Mr Dunne, who is Minister of Revenue, said nearly two thirds of all personal taxes came from the top 20 per cent of taxpayers.

"That burden is getting greater every year," he said.

"And, at a time of rising mortgage rates, the tax system does not adequately acknowledge its impact on parents and households."

Mr Dunne used his speech to the conference in Wellington today to set out UnitedFuture's plans for next year's election, and he said he expected the tax system to be a live issue.

He said the party was working on detailed tax reforms involving all aspects of the current system, including a universal tax free threshold, and other adjustments.

UnitedFuture has a support agreement with the Government which guarantees its majority on confidence votes in Parliament.

It had three MPs but one of them, Gordon Copeland, quit the party earlier this year.

Mr Copeland is forming his own Christian party, and believes much of UnitedFuture's support at the last election came from Christian voters after the merger of the United Party and Future New Zealand.

Mr Dunne has previously said UnitedFuture is stronger now it can focus on its core values, but he did not mention Mr Copeland in his speech.

"We are not and never will become a party of extremes, the prisoner of vocal minority groups, or the strident voice of a better yesterday." he said.

Mr Copeland left because he considered UnitedFuture was not upholding the values he came to Parliament to promote.

Other issues Mr Dunne dealt with in his speech included:

? Supporting those who support others ? the community and voluntary sector should be empowered to do more in education, health and welfare;

? child abuse being a "national scourge" that had to be faced by communities, who had to take responsibility and work with agencies to resolve them. "We have to get beyond the culture of blame and meaningless expressions, about climates of oppression or dysfunction or colonialism, and deal with the issue";

? that National and Labour should end their campaigns of personality politics. "Everywhere I go people tell me how turned off they are by the personal attacks and gutter politics of the two old parties":

? that there should be a genuine multi-party approach to climate change policy. "The politics of inclusion demand the laying aside of personal political advantage in the national interest, and call for people working constructively together to achieve viable and sustainable solutions."

From here .