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Nats backsliding on tax haven law changes

Written By: - Date published: 7:54 am, November 1st, 2016 - 20 comments
Categories: accountability, capitalism, economy, International, national, tax - Tags: , , , ,

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.

20 comments on “Nats backsliding on tax haven law changes ”

  1. Richard Rawshark 1

    Say anything , make it up, do anything to make it go away., Then sort it all out when no ones watching.

    Sound about right?

  2. ianmac 2

    Key is damned if he fails to acts against the NZ Tax havens.
    Key is damned if he does acts against the NZ Tax havens.
    He must, as usual, weigh up the positives of inaction against the electoral damage.
    There must be a very good reason to not carry out the reforms so I guess we must follow the money.

  3. ropata 3

    Surely Honest John wouldn’t besmirch our clean, green, safe and transparent reputation?


  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    Oh, look at that – our corrupt government is not passing laws that would help stop corruption.

    • tc 4.1

      Nailed it Draco.

      silence from their msm puppets as shonkys probably waiting on a green light that ‘affairs’ have been sorted so he can bolt the door after the horses are long gone.

  5. David H 5

    Banana republic 101. Appease the Masses

  6. Keith 6

    Ha, Keys pet project, quietly hidden away from public view, setting up NZ as a tax haven for the elite and the crooked came crashing down around his ears with the Panama Papers.

    So the good old National Party standard rolls out, get a stooge to do an enquiry, but even then it was unpalatable, make a big noise in public how they were going to change the world, then spend the next few months setting up an illusion that makes it look like things are changing but then and leave everything just the way it was.

    Dishonesty is a core part of Nationals DNA nowadays.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Dishonesty is a core part of Nationals DNA nowadays.

      National have to lie because no one would ever vote for what they actually want to do.

  7. save nz 7

    As long as the Natz and in particular Key can money launder for cronies here, what’s the problem? Keep the rout going as long as possible..

  8. adam 8

    Were’s puckish saying this is a non-event.???

    Funny he done a runner on this one.

    • In Vino 8.1

      But look at the low number of replies. Depressing that such sleazy politics seem to succeed. National should be put on the rack for this… I guess another All Black will commit another sexual transgression…

  9. save nz 9

    It’s also great for dishonest people to be able to transfer money between parties so easily with National now they have abolished gift duty – formally you were allowed about 30k per year tax free, now it is any amount being transferred for 0% tax. You can just make your money disappear. voila!

  10. red-blooded 10

    Well, I hope Labour and the Greens pick up on this. So far, i don’t see it being reported much, and it should be big news.

    • save nz 10.1

      If NZ is blacklisted from the EU – it would make everyone sit up. Yes most people don’t understand local tax laws let alone international tax laws, and now there are ‘negotiated’ tax law deals such as the Apple/Ireland deal which mean’t they paid a fraction of the tax they should be paying. Hence not much commentary on these posts. It is the same for mass surveillance posts. Taxes themselves are hot news for most people hence elections won or lost on sound bytes of giving tax cuts or increasing taxes. With the Panama papers it has shown that it is a hot topic and is affecting politics aka Iceland.

      No wonder the economies are going down, as new companies can’t compete with big players not having to pay the same amount of tax as small players or the companies are so busy playing tax avoidance they lose focus on their core business and go under unexpectedly.

      It also means that accountants can take over a company and then get involved in all these tax deals, lobby governments and advise everyone to take everything off shore. So in the end there are little taxes, poorly paid and insecure local jobs and individuals and corporations i.e. the .01% who control everything but contribute very little for the amount of power they hold. They are actually destroying the societies in the countries that created them. Hence the move back to Nationalism.


  11. JustMe 11

    We can only assume the level of tax evasion/avoidance by the multi-corpurates here in NZ has gone into the “too hard basket’ in Key’s inner sanctum i.e his inner office.

    As is wont of a government who cannot govern properly they(the government)will turn a blind eye to the level of tax avoidance and evasion that is going on 24/7 within NZ.

    And so here is the rub(of salt into our already sore wounds as NZers).We have a government and a PM who have profited handsomly over the years whilst turning a blind eye and the approach “nothing to see. move along please….”.

    Lets face it but before he became PM of NZ Key had a personal wealth of say NZ$50million. Since he became PM he has accumulated an additional personal wealth now in the excess of $60million. He didn’t make that amount of money out of Red Cross collections let alone his probably claim of ‘wise investments’.

    When Key and co are caught in a corner they resort to one of two responses. When they are caught in a corner by say the Opposition Parties they resort to blame games and childish snide remarks. When they are caught in a corner on the world stage that clearly shows their lethargic attitude towards tax evaders(big businesses in this instance)they make promises that many NZers know that are impossible for Key to keep to.

    Once a certain amount of money has traded hands and into various back pockets ones like Key quickly forget what he said one day to the next. A perfect example of Key not really knowing what he talks about is in regards to the request Helen Kelly receive the New Zealander of the Year Award.

    This is what Key said recently : “The trouble with having someone whose already passed away as your New Zealander of the Year is where does that lead? Does that mean later on in years to come that someone who died five years ago, people say they weren’t on the list, they would have been on the list, they were a great New Zealander.

    “And I think that’s the problem, a lot of these organisations worry a lot about,” Key said.

    The royal honours system doesn’t award knighthoods and damehoods posthumously – if it did you’d risk always living in the past.

    “That’s one of the reasons, because otherwise they’d go back and say you forgot to give so-and-so a knighthood,” he(Key) said.

    However John Key conveniently forgot about a Supreme Court Judge who died in May 2013 and was knighted in the Queens Birthday Honours in June 2013.

    And so lets look at this realistically when it comes to John Key. He is expert at having answers for ‘everything’ but he is a master of nothing more than greed and deceit.

    All he needs to do is tell enough porkies(lies)and every naive and gullible NZer takes his words for Gospel. Tell enough porkies when it comes to tax matters(something which is beyond many low income NZers compacity to figure out)then he thinks we all believe him.

  12. sharon 12

    I remember when the Christchurch earthquake happened, and on air Johnky told us all that there was B$35 assigned through EQC. for the project of rebuilding Christchurch. Then what happened, nothing got done and red tape held everything up. Key is a liar and manipulative puppet who has gotten himself in over his head. Shame if the NZ public go down with him.

    • JustMe 12.1

      So agree Sharon.
      Isn’t it amazing he ‘promised’ $35billion(or whatever it is)for rebuilding Christchurch but has allocated over $20billion towards the NZ military?
      Even at the Pike River service for the 29 lost miners he promised to ‘bring out our boys’. But once the 2011 election results were confirmed he again(as is per usual for John Key) reneged on that promise.
      Key will promise so many things and has done since(and before)he became PM. But we all know his promises are as empty as the policies he says he has.
      He then has the audacity to applaude his finance minister for making a mere $414miilion ‘budget surplus’ in 2014/2015. That is about the same amount a Chinese gambler spent at the Auckland Skycity casino over a period of time.
      English now claims to have made say about a $1.4billion ‘budget surplus’ for 2016. But since $20billion has been allocated to the military that certainly shows there is nothing left in the government purse for New Zealanders. There will be still further spending cuts for such services as health, radio, education, housing, etc; as this government tries to ‘curb the debt left by the previous Labour government of almost a decade ago’. In other words we have a blame-game government who(and quoting Bill English from years ago)are living beyond its means and must experience financial belt tightening.Shortly after he became finance minister English had the audacity to say to NZers that we are living beyond our means. etc.etc.etc. He then allocated $8million to a bridge so the Double-Dipping MP for Dipton didn’t have to go too far out of his way to get home.
      We have is a government who looks after themselves eg gives contracts to their mates in return for say donations to the National Party. The so-called money ‘allocated’ to Christchurch has probably ended up in someones’ back pockets.
      We have a pack of liars in government but many of us already know that.

  13. Cinny 13

    When questioned by Grant in Parliament yesterday about the issue. Adams had a variety of excuses, the most amusing was saying that delaying any law changes will save the kiwi public money.
    Were you trying to use a right wing priority (money) to seduce kiwi citizens, yeah nah, morals over money for most of us. You’re happy to impose other costs on kiwis and besides Bling keeps telling us the books are in surplus.

    Meanwhile Joyce, minister of the dildo, makes headlines by chasing student loan defaulters across the ditch. Hey Joyce… has the cost of chasing the students exceeded the amounts owing on their loans? Don’t forget to factor in the time cost of the aussie tax department, police, and the cost of any remand time.
    Did you break even?
    Did you get the money back?
    Did you tell them you had your education paid for but don’t want them to so would prefer to arrest them instead?

    It’s easier to chase loan defaulting students than change tax laws which turn NZ into a tax haven. And it’s less complicated for some of the public than getting their heads around our dodgy foreign tax laws and lobbyists.

    The outgoing government only do what they are told to, including the outgoing PM.
    And when the outgoing PM has the loaded ego of a show pony, he’s more interested in saving face with his global financial buddies than looking after NZ.

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