- Date published:
7:54 am, November 1st, 2016 - 20 comments
Categories: accountability, capitalism, economy, International, national, tax - Tags: money laundering, no spine, panama papers, shewan report, tax haven
Well here’s a big surprise!
Urgent action to stop New Zealand being seen as a tax haven seems to have slowed down, 1 NEWS reports exclusively.
The Government promised it would fast-track anti-money laundering laws by mid next year in the wake of revelations from the Panama Papers leak about tax evasion and money laundering.
“It will happen. It’s got a much higher priority. We will do it as soon as we can,” Prime Minister John Key said.
But plans to include real estate agents and lawyers in the new rules now appear to be on a go-slow.
The Government said that timeframe was too difficult, but promised it would happen by the middle of next year.
“I think you will find there will be quite a lot off screaming from those sectors,” Mr Key said. …
Screaming? Oh the poor dears. What reason would htey possibly have to scream about more transparency? Do they have – something to hide?
Here’s Grant Robertson with Labour’s take:
National dragging its feet on anti-money laundering legislation
The National Government has once again caved in to special interests and has shelved plans to introduce legislation this year that would extend anti-money laundering requirements to lawyers, accountants and real estate agents, Grant Robertson Labour Finance Spokesperson says.
“When the heat was on National earlier this year in the wake of the Panama Papers, John Key committed his government to fast-tracking legislation to widen the groups covered by anti-money laundering provisions. But now with public attention elsewhere he has quietly slammed on the brakes, and it now looks like there will be no change in the rules before the next election.
“It seems that once again National is putting their interests ahead of New Zealand’s. As happened with earlier attempts to tighten the rules on the foreign trust industry that were scuttled by people like John Key’s lawyer, industry insiders are putting pressure on the government to back-off or water down proposals. This is despite the potential damage to New Zealand’s international reputation and the concerns of government officials that we are leaving the door open to corrupt money and individuals. …
Quite apart from the issue of National’s willingness to let dodgy practices and damage to our reputation continue, there may be practical consequences as well:
Europe considers blacklisting NZ over tax laws
Possible European sanctions against New Zealand could make travel harder and have a massive effect on the economy.
New Zealand’s tax regime will come under investigation as Europe prepares a blacklist of global tax havens, Newshub revealed on Monday night.
The grouping of 28 European nations is looking into countries with lax tax laws. Following the release of the so-called Panama Papers, it has confirmed that New Zealand will be investigated.
The EU is our third largest trading partner and worth about $7000 for every person in New Zealand.
The EU loses around NZ$1 trillion to tax havens each year, and it intends to put a stop to the practice by threatening a raft of sanctions against countries that don’t comply to its standards.
New Zealand doesn’t comply, even when the recommendations made by tax expert John Shewan as a result of the Panama Papers are included. …
I wonder what European regulators are going to make of National’s backsliding.