Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Taxes and Levies - Oh my!

I received a letter from Meridian Energy in the mail today. Luckily it was not a bill. IT was however a letter outlining the Electricity Commission levy that since March 2004 has been buried in our electricity rates.

I congratulate Meridian on exposing the levy to all, small though it may currently be. New Zealand citizens' income is being gradually eroded by "Death from a Thousand Levies" and we should have more of these exposed for the public to see how much is actually going to the Government or Government apparatus.

It would be useful to actually build up a list of all the taxes, levies and rates that the average New Zealander is exposed to. I'd also love to see more commercial organisations expose the amount that the Government is taking. Wouldn't it be great when purchasing petrol to actually have two line items - cost of petrol, and the excise duty that goes to the Government? It would be much more revealing to the public-at-large if they see different line items on their receipt.

In the name of transparent government accounting and reporting, I feel they are obliged to report the amount of excise duty that is being collected just like GST is reported. I can't see any politican choosing to push this however, so it may have to be the petroleum companies that take the step. Hopefully they will follow the lead of the electricity sector.

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