Abel explains new taxes imposed by Government

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LOCAL industry must be supported if the nation should reduce imports, Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Charles Abel says.
He was responding to a statement by Shadow Finance Minister Ian Ling-Stuckey, that families “will be asked to pay more for basic food and commodities because of new taxes imposed by the Government from Jan 1.
These including a 15 per cent tax increase for wheat flour used for baking bread – lifting the tariff level to one-quarter of imported costs”. Abel said the tariff on flour “only affects retail packaged imported flour”.
“The main brands such as Flame and 3 Roses are imported in bulk wheat and processed onshore. Therefore prices are not affected,” he said.
“The tariff on milk is only being applied to fresh milk, not UHT milk. So prices have not been affected.
“The tariff on veneer and plywood have been in place for some years but the tariff codes had to be corrected in terms of rates applied.
“A relatively low tariff has been introduced on imported furniture and canned fish to support the development of onshore investment and jobs, especially where we have the natural resources and existing local products.
“There are two large local producers of fresh chicken meat so prices should not be affected here.”
Abel said the country needed jobs and import replacement, with the Government using a range of policies “to progress the local production of rice, wheat (for stock feed and flour), local beef and poultry meat and eggs, milk and other dairy products, tuna processing, power from gas and oil, cement, timber and furniture”.
“If we don’t give some support to local industry, we will forever be importing our food, energy and exporting all our raw materials and jobs.”

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