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From barking mad to common sense in one easy U turn

Written By: - Date published: 9:32 am, June 28th, 2016 - 65 comments
Categories: accountability, business, john key, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , , ,

Way back in April:

Greens’ “Barking Mad” Bill Blocked

The big question in Question Time arose from the allegation in leaked documents called the Panama Papers that New Zealand is a tax haven. Prime Minister John Key says tax havens are secret and New Zealand cannot be one because it has disclosure rules. Greens member’s bill opening trusts to scrutiny is blocked by the government. John Key calls Greens finance spokeswoman, Julie Anne Genter, “barking mad” for supporting it …

Typical reflexive aggression from Key (and offensively stigmatising to boot). April Key also claimed:

“Tax havens are where there is non-disclosure of information. New Zealand has full disclosure of information.”

Yesterday of course:

Review: ‘Existing foreign trust disclosure rules inadequate’

The Government has confirmed a shake-up of foreign trusts following a review sparked by the Panama Papers.

Foreign-owned trusts based in New Zealand will be required to disclose more information when registering, which would allow regulatory authorities to search the register. The trusts would also have to file annual returns, Finance Minister Bill English and Revenue Minister Michael Woodhouse said this afternoon.

“The inquiry concludes that the existing foreign trust disclosure rules are inadequate,” Mr Shewan’s report said. “The rules are not fit for purpose in the context of preserving New Zealand’s reputation as a country that cooperates with other jurisdictions to counter money laundering and aggressive tax practises.” Mr Shewan recommended a “significant” increase in the amount of information disclosed when trusts were first set up. …

According to June Key:

Key said the recommendations were sensible and well-reasoned…

For some strange reason this complete U-Turn has gone largely unremarked in the media.

65 comments on “From barking mad to common sense in one easy U turn ”

  1. vto 1

    the weekly evidence of John Key’s penchant for making shit up as he goes

    bullshitter

    bullshitter

    bullshitter key

    • mikes 1.1

      Yep. Just been watching one news which reported that inequality has risen steeply in NZ. The top 10% now own over 50% of the wealth, up 5% from 2010. The bottom 40% of people now own just 3% of the wealth.

      Keys response was “inequality hasn’t risen in NZ in decades”.

      There was no questioning of his response by the MSM.

      • mosa 1.1.1

        Inequality hasn’t risen for decades !!!!!
        I gave up on the NZ MSM a long time ago when it became obvious that they had no intention of holding John Key to account for the deceptions he engages in or his lacklustre ,vacant,devoid of compassion,corrupt ,lack of vision,arrogant ,publicity seeking ,pompous ,vindictive leadership style.
        As for the u turn on foreign trusts its another example of taking a position on something,commenting which is usually a lie at that time and then denying he told a lie or made a criticism or simply cant remember saying it despite being on public record.
        He is the most powerful PM scince Muldoon and even he didnot have the fourth estate support Key does in fact quite the opposite ,he terrified most of them !
        There is hope, more kiwis saw through the flag debacle for what it was and exercised common sense with their vote and rejected it.
        Its time the silent majority spoke up and demand he resign along with the rest of the cowards in this government.

  2. save nz 2

    +100

  3. RedLogix 3

    On this basis up next we can expect National to introduce a radical new Universal basic Income.

    Paying all adult New Zealanders a “universal basic income” is a “barking mad” idea that would cost more than the country brings in from tax, Prime Minister John Key says.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11610662

    Turns out “Barking Mad” is the PM’s secret code for … ‘this is a really good idea and I want to pinch the credit for it’. This is a very old corporate game.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      I’d agree with that but there’s no way that National would bring it in as it actually allows a free labour market and a free labour market is the last thing that capitalists want as it means that people won’t have to work for them. It also means that private banks would not be allowed to continue to create money ex nihilo and there’s no way that National (or Labour for that matter) will stop that.

  4. Smilin 4

    Any PR to save face, if it looks like a duck well it aint untill Key gets one of his to confirm it even though there should be enough support to question the validity of the processes Keys govt uses to stamp on the opposition when they push his BS so far up his face that he cant smile his way out of it .
    Go for it JG

  5. mac1 5

    The good ship “John Key” continues to tack about looking for favourable winds. It still has the same flag at its masthead, to its master’s disgust. Its weather and wind information is good though the boat is essentially rudderless. Its final destination is unknown but probably foreign, that can be trusted. The captain, an old sea-dog said by some to be ‘barking mad’, is very good at disguising its true colours.

    Like a Q-ship it is harmless-looking from a distance. Is it a warship or a merchant ship. Tracking its course on GPS shows a full double u-turn on the way to Irag, and a u-turn away from the Bahamas. A good deal of this can be put down to using mist and fog to hide its real purpose and destination.

    More on the master and the rest of the crew later. It can be revealed, however, that one of the lower deck petty officers has trouble retaining his hands, losing 12 overboard in three years sailing.

  6. Penny Bright 6

    Surely – if NZ has ‘full disclosure’ of information relating to foreign trusts – then it would already be available and would not need to be ‘requested’?

    When is NZ Prime Minister John Key going to apologise for, in my view, misleading the public, in light of the findings of the Shewan Report?

    If NZ Prime Minister John Key misled the House on this matter, is he going to be held accountable?

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      When is NZ Prime Minister John Key going to apologise for, in my view, misleading the public, in light of the findings of the Shewan Report?

      Never. He’ll continue to lie and u-turn and pretend that the past never happened until we lock the fucker up and take everything off him. And then, like all RWNJs, he’ll just whinge and blame other people rather than accept personal responsibility.

      • Richardrawshark 6.1.1

        He’ll probably do what Blair does, veto any investigation like the one he’s under.

  7. Nick 7

    You know he is not going to apologise Penny – he doesnt see anything to say sorry for…..the amount of his misleading blah bah on so many issues is like a tsunami that it seems he just surfs on top of. Dancing on a pin head or something like that.

  8. Greg 8

    Gee Wizz sheeple, stop mentioning the word Tax Haven, its been stripped from reports presented by the Treasury. It will give July Key an apoplexy fit.
    Please stick to the Team Key’s recreated history that zero rated company trusts are fine in dandy, and just wont deliver that much tax to NZ, lets not mention that they have already cost the tax payer an extra 205 million.
    Thats the crime here, or maybe a racketeering charge.
    Oh, why doesnt NZ have American racketeering laws, to charge crooked politicians, and other elected officials, and managerial elite.

    • Henry Filth 8.1

      What $200m?

      How did I miss that?

      • Greg 8.1.1

        it was reported in a Herald story back when the panana papers were released,

        it was in a offhand remark that Key likes to make when he doesnt it want it questioned,

  9. fisiani 9

    Full disclosure on request. A few tweeks and hey presto all is well. Great job by John Shewan and glad to see that the tweeks will be made.

    • Greg 9.1

      A stitch up job.
      How did 205 million get spent to make these company trusts complaint with EU laws,
      or was it just a means to transfer a stuffed envelope.

      • fisiani 9.1.1

        What 205 million are you on about? The NZ tax payer has not lost a cent.

        • Greg 9.1.1.1

          Key approved a special separate payment to the IRD in April for the separate purpose of making these companies complaint with EU money laundering laws.

          And its a taxpayer loss because it was taken from spending on health, education or police.
          205 million to make a return of 23 million to a few lawyers n accountants,
          thats criminal,

          • Henry Filth 9.1.1.1.1

            Having a bit of trouble finding it. Do you have a link or an author? The EU-compliant bit seems quite attractive.

          • mosa 9.1.1.1.2

            Criminal activity is perfectly acceptable now, John Key is a master at it and there is never a smoking gun ! As Nixon said of the WaterGate break in and obstructing justice and tried too cover it up with hush money, its not illegal when the President does it.
            Frightening that we are prepared too accept it, when did that happen ?

        • reason 9.1.1.2

          NZ tax payers lost $440 million when John Shewans ‘tax vehicles’ that the aussie banks were using were found guilty of being a con job by New Zealands High Courts.

          Despite losing and being found guilty Shewans clients …… who were profit gouging aussie banks ………. and despite the motive being pure greed ……….. they were let off 20% and the penalty should have been closer to $2.7 Billion ………….. instead of the $2.2 Billion imposed by the courts.

          National supports and is supported by rich tax cheats
          http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/8515361/Money-trail-leads-home-to-New-Zealan

          Key is the worst yet ….

          ” James Shaw: If New Zealand is not a tax haven, why would Mossack Fonseca—a company which, by its own admission, has 95 percent of its business in avoiding tax—urge its clients to use New Zealand’s foreign trust and company structures as a way of avoiding tax?”

          Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Two things. Firstly, there can be quite legitimate reasons why people have a foreign trust, and I suggest the member leave the House and ring Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and Red Cross”

          ##############################################

          “Andrew Little: Does he oppose New Zealanders and multinationals using another country’s tax laws to dodge New Zealand tax, given that he allows foreigners to do the same thing here?

          Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I cannot talk for Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the Red Cross, but what I can say is that every country has a different tax system.”

          ################################################

        • Greg 9.1.1.3

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11636261

          and more will be spent when the rules are changed,
          jesus wept,

          • fisiani 9.1.1.3.1

            Money will be spent on protecting the NZ taxpayer. Rightly so.

            • reason 9.1.1.3.1.1

              John Key has been defending the tax haven status of New Zealand ………. that he created …….
              ***************************************************
              “Julie Anne Genter: Have there been any changes to the rules since the IRD warned his Government in 2013 that “there was a risk to New Zealand’s reputation” because of limited disclosure requirements?

              Rt Hon JOHN KEY: The member would have to direct that question to the Minister responsible for inland revenue. They are the ones who have done all the work with the OECD on the base evasion programme. But, as we know, things like factor and anti – money-laundering legislation have been changing.

              Julie Anne Genter: I seek leave to table an email dated 24 March 2016 from the IRD that states that it has not progressed any reform in this area.”
              ****************************************************
              Apart from key and the nats blocking any action on the IRD warnings….. the tax haven industry also had its lawyers threatening media people …..for using the phrase “tax haven”

              “UPDATE: Reader Tom Dale accepted the challenge of finding the 2012 60 Minutes report on the TV3 website. He found the video, but it has been set to private. And that seems clearly related to this extraordinary statement in the show’s blog. It appears that even saying the words “tax haven” was legally perilous four years ago. It looks like the Panama Papers have made a bigger difference than we realised.” http://publicaddress.net/hardnews/forgetting-what-we-didnt-know/

          • Hapuku 9.1.1.3.2

            The $205 million to the IRD was for all compliance not just that related to overseas trusts.

            • Greg 9.1.1.3.2.1

              No it wasnt universal, your wrong,
              Key clearly stated it was for the zero rated tax havens and a one of special payment to make them legal complaint

              Or maybe it was just a vehicle to pass a envelope.

              How did McCully make payments to the Saudi Businessman.

        • In Vino 9.1.1.4

          “Full disclosure on request” is NOT full disclosure. Full means complete – without any request needed. Look it up.

          I am a teacher of language, Fisi, – I have to accurately translate things like this from one language to another, and judge others’ translations.

          John Key lied in his usual way – a half-truth, which in this case clearly constitutes a lie.

          And you are trying to assist him in slimy, devious obfuscation.

          • Greg 9.1.1.4.1

            Exactly,
            hence why i remember the 205 million special payment to IRD,
            that the Labour party clearly ignored or did’nt click on too.

            Key can be very articulate when it matters, like in Parliament on Teusday defending the report.
            Other times, he makes a statement and adds on details.

            fyi, I’m a recovered level 5 head injury survivor, and slightly dyslexic.

    • Richardrawshark 9.2

      A few tweaks, Jeez, fuck off.

  10. Marple 10

    JG should take it as a compliment that she’s rattled John Key – he’s always rude and personal when threatened. After all, he’s just not used to articulate, intelligent and strong women is he?

  11. AB 11

    From the Key-Woodhouse Modern English Dictionary:

    “Full disclosure of information”
    Definition: unlikely disclosure of inadequate information

    “Tax Haven”
    Verb. Used colloquially to describe attempts at separating behaviour and intent from their standard definition, e.g.
    “I am not a prostitute, though I can be used like one”.
    Reply: “Sounds like you are tax havening a bit there!”

  12. ianmac 12

    Key has developed it to a fine art.
    Stay calm.
    Keep your voice level.
    State a new “truth” as though it was always so.
    Answer any questioning of apparent U turns with a smiling “But that was what was known at the time,” or “That was within the context of question at the time.”
    I think that all his Ministers are forced to stand in front of a mirror and practise barefaced lies and deflections.
    Superficially the Public accept.

  13. esoteric pineapples 13

    “Barking mad” was Key’s favourite riff for a while because it got him a laff. He’s like the ignorant opinionated uncle at family gatherings.

    • mosa 13.1

      Yeah the creepy dirty old rich one with the knighthood and wearing a kyle lockwood silver fern flag polo shirt.

  14. Andre 14

    Hopefully someone with actual expertise can clear something up for me.

    I’ve got the impression that a major difference between NZ and the rest of the world is that we look at the tax residency of the settlor in deciding whether to apply tax, whereas everyone else looks at the trustee(s) tax residency. This difference seems to be one of the things that makes New Zealand’s foreign trust regime so attractive to foreigners looking for “legitimate tax avoidance”..

    Shewan’s suggested “tweaks” don’t appear to address this issue. Any suggestions why not? Is it too cynical to think it’s so we can be “seen to be doing something” while leaving the “legitimate avoidance” mechanism intact?

    • Henry Filth 14.1

      Having a bit of trouble finding it. Do you have a link or author?

      That EU compliant bit sounds interesting.

    • mosa 14.2

      What we all have to remember is this point !
      If the panama papers had remained secret we would not have been any the wiser to the tax evasion being encouraged and known about by this administration and IGNORED despite warnings from their own IRD department.
      That tells all of us what kind of government and Prime minister we have in authority in this country and its sickening.
      If there was any justice and accountability that is practiced in other first world countries when tax evasion is discovered and obvious political interference by the countries leader through his lawyer is uncovered they are forced to resign and face charges in a court of law.
      New Zealanders cant keep their heads in the sand for much longer, i think eight years is long enough !
      The opposition need to change tactics in parliament every time Key is caught out misleading the house which for everyone else is a serious offence.
      Whispering RESIGN every time Key speaks would be a start.

  15. mary_a 15

    I was watching Parliament when Julie Ann Genter suggested exactly what has been recommended in the findings of John Shewan’s report. As we all know now, John Key’s response was to tell Genter her suggestion was “barking mad.”

    However, will Key remember that particular reply he gave?

    No doubt when challenged, it be the usual same old BS memory loss tactic, which he gets away with far too frequently to cover his arse “… I don’t remember saying that!”

    • dv 15.1

      And did he mislead parliament?

    • mosa 15.2

      You know who is really barking mad ?
      The 47 % who keep voting for him and his colleges who think that all the outrageous appalling lack of ethics and dirty tricks and deception are ok and perfectly acceptable as long as we have a National government making them richer and richer every year.
      They are the ones who spit on poor people living in cars and the homeless on the street.
      And the real enemy is the MSM who are just as culpable as the masters they serve for not reporting or seeking accountability and the truth.

  16. Ed 16

    The developments represent mission accomplished for National. They knew from the time the Panama Papers were released that they would have to close the hidden part of the industry, but the clients of Key’s personal lawyer needed time to get the assets moved to the next favoured location. The industry will have had a busy time, and probably need the time it will take to get a Bill through – but it will be timed to suit them, not our country.

    Key will not try not to speak on this matter again, but he will have already had the discussions that matter – with conservative donors in New Zealand and other countries who will be watching to see that the preservation of their wealth is being protected as much as possible.

    • Macro 16.1

      Key will not try not to speak on this matter again, but he will have already had the discussions that matter – with conservative donors in New Zealand and other countries who will be watching to see that the preservation of their wealth is being protected as much as possible.

      Exactly.

  17. Bearded Git 17

    Andrew Little had this right on Morning Report this morning. The financial and beneficiary information now recommended by Shewan to be disclosed on the overseas trusts and look-through companies needs to be PUBLICLY accessible not just accessible to the IRD.

    This is a major (and purposeful) flaw in the Shewan report. Labour should slot this into their manifesto now.

    • Henry Filth 17.1

      It may be legally difficult to differentiate between foreign and domestic trusts.

      And given the widespread use of trusts in the New Zealand domestic setting, the publicly accessible component especially may encounter some political difficulties.

      After all, “my” trust has tax (and other) obligations to the government, but what obligations of disclosure does it have to the wider, nosey, thrill-seeking public at large?

      • Bearded Git 17.1.1

        Henry-that is easy.

        If the overseas beneficiaries do not have NZ citizenship or NZ residence then the information on the trusts/companies should be publicly accessible. Why should we let overseas people use NZ as a money laundering/tax haven destination?

        Legislation should make proof of citizenship/residence mandatory when setting up a trust/company and for the 13000 (approx, or was it 16000?) already set up.

        • Henry Filth 17.1.1.1

          We seem to disagree.

          Could you explain why you consider that, under a decent disclosure and compliance regime, residence or citizenship should be mandatory?

      • North 17.1.2

        Filth…….you were going fine until your last line – “……nosey, thrill seeking public at large?”

        • Henry Filth 17.1.2.1

          You’re right. I shouldn’t have toned it down.

          “. . . to the gawping prurient interest of the financially illiterate envious choking down the sensationalist pap delivered by the lowest-common-denominator-dominated mass media?”

          Thanks for the heads up!

          • mac1 17.1.2.1.1

            Oh the alliteration, the assonance, the sheer wordy delight of “lowest-common-denominator-dominated mass media” and the rest. Well written, Henry Filth.

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