Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Nash’s precarious position on bed taxes


“Stuart Nash owes New Zealanders an explanation about why he said he wasn’t working on a bed tax when he has been,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Information obtained by the ACT Party through Parliamentary Written Questions and briefings to Stuart Nash show that Government is working with the Queenstown Lakes District Council to implement a bed tax.

“This is despite ACT MP James McDowall specifically asking Stuart Nash in Parliament whether he was planning to introduce a bed tax and being told “bed tax, no”.

“In a briefing to Stuart Nash from his department, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) it says “a levy on visitor accommodation...is being pursued with central government.”

“In answers to one of our Written Questions it says “MBIE has reviewed the financial rationale for the proposed accommodation levy and provided input to the development of the policy settings and local bill.”

“If you’re providing input into development of the policy settings and doing the financial modelling of a bed tax, then you’re working on a bed tax.

“Further clarification is also needed about whether this tax will capture Kiwis.

“New Zealanders have been told to get out and enjoy our own backyard. The Government has kept the borders closed and has been slow to roll out the vaccine.

“If we’re confined to New Zealand and limited overseas travel, the least the Government could do is not pile on another tax while we’re enjoying our own country.

“Stuart Nash needs to explain why he told Parliament he wasn’t working on a bed tax when he now plans to introduce one and whether New Zealanders will have to pay.”