Raft of policies to come into force
Sunday, 30 March 2008

A host of the Government's flagship policies come into force this week including cuts to business tax rates and workplace savings incentives, as well as one new ban and the end of an amnesty.

April 1 may be April Fool's day, but it is also the start of the taxation year and as a result the date for many legislative changes to take effect.

One of the most significant changes is the cut in the company tax rate from 33 percent to 30 percent.

This will potentially divert hundreds of millions of dollars from the Government's coffers back into businesses to reinvest or pay out to owners and shareholders.

Workers who are part of KiwiSaver are also set to benefit from the turbo charging of the workplace saving scheme.

So far 500,000 people have signed up and those who work will now get an employers contribution of one per cent rising to 4 percent by 2011.

To ease the pain for employers they will get a government tax credit of up to $20 per week per employee in the scheme.

Another tax credit is also claimable from April 1 for research and development.

Such spending will get a 15 percent rebate at an estimated cost of $630 million over the next four years.

Benefits and allowances will also increase with the now annual indexing for inflation taking effect lifting welfare payment by 3.1 percent.

April 1 also marks the day when it will be illegal to sell party pills containing BZP, though it will still be legal to possess small amounts until October.

March 31 is also the last day available to take advantage of the student loan amnesty for student loan borrowers who've been living overseas and have got behind in their repayments.

Those eligible get late payment penalties reversed if they agree to a repayment schedule.

- NZPA

From here .