New Zealand PM, Mr John Key
Meanwhile in New Zealand, business organisations and unions have claimed victory after the Prime Minister backed away from a government proposal to introduce a fringe benefit tax on car parks provided to employees as part of their remuneration.
The tax on inner-city car parks in Auckland and Wellington drew concentrated criticism from a well organised lobby group comprising employer groups, advertising agencies, car parking companies and the Unite union.
Their claim was that the tax would have a negative impact on business while raising a relatively small amount of revenue, coming at a time when all business is struggling with a flat economy.
While government Ministers didn’t agree with the methodology of their opponents’ cost-benefit analysis, they conceded that compliance costs made it sensible not to proceed with the proposal. However Prime Minister Key is playing down the u-turn, saying the Government always intended to “test the boundaries” of the proposal.