Little tries to emulate Winston

Instead of taking stock of a failing strategy and changing direction Andrew little seems to have chosen to go further down the dirt track.

Andrew Little: Will he join me and release his tax records to dispel rumours that he has benefited from the use of tax havens?

Little then tabled his tax records from the past few years, challenging Key to do likewise. This stunt is as likely to backfire on Little as score a hit on his opponent – actually, going by Labour’s recent track record it’s more likely to blow up in Little’s face.

Is he trying to impress Winston Peters by rumour mongering in Parliament?

Trying to promote rumours is ingrained in Peters’ modus operandi, but it’s sad to see the Labour leader resorting to this.

1. ANDREW LITTLE (Leader of the Opposition) to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all of his statements in relation to the Panama Papers?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): Yes.

Andrew Little: Does he accept that the Panama Papers show that New Zealand – based foreign trusts are being used, at the very least, for tax avoidance?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: No, I have not seen the Panama Papers, so I cannot comment on whether that is the case or not.

Andrew Little: Why did he limit the tax dodging review to only the operation of the law in respect of foreign trusts in New Zealand, and not, for example, the law around portfolio investment entity funds and tax paid by multinationals?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I think the review being undertaken by John Shewan will be quite comprehensive when it comes to disclosure and the issues around tax. Where that will ultimately go is a matter of us working with the OECD, and our officials are going to Paris on Wednesday to be part of a global meeting on that.

Andrew Little: Why did he push through a law in 2011, which Labour opposed, that cut the tax rate for foreign funds to zero, a move that PriceWaterhousecoopers said put New Zealand on a par with renowned tax havens like Ireland, Luxembourg, and the Caymans?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: That member would need to direct that question to the Minister of Revenue. I don’t have those facts.

Andrew Little: Can he confirm that New Zealand was kicked off the EU’s white list following his law change because New Zealand no longer had equivalent “legal requirements of money-laundering and terrorist-financing prevention”?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: No, I do not have that data but I can confirm that New Zealand is ranked in the top 20 in the world when it came to disclosure matters according to the OECD.

Andrew Little: Why does he defend tax-avoiding multinational corporations and owners of foreign trusts who are just using New Zealand to avoid paying tax?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: There are a variety of reasons why people use foreign trusts, including ones that may be registered in New Zealand. I am sure many of them are legitimate.

Andrew Little: Does he think he has achieved his goal of making New Zealand the Jersey of the South Pacific? And do not pull the wool over our eyes.

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I do think there is a role for New Zealand in the provision of financial services as part of a diversified economy. I think we can do that quite successfully. My other goal has been to lead National to 50 percent in the polls, not 28 percent. [Interruption]

Mr SPEAKER: Order! I do not mind a certain amount of interjection but when it is getting to that level I am going to have to start mentioning people by name.

Andrew Little: Has he ever been involved, personally or professionally, in a foreign trust or other vehicle used to reduce tax?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I have no ministerial responsibility for that but I am quite happy for the member to look at the answers I gave in my post Cabinet press conference yesterday.

Andrew Little: Will he join me and release his tax records to dispel rumours that he has benefited from the use of tax havens?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Firstly, there are no such rumours. Secondly, I do not think the member actually should table his tax return. I think he should table his CV because he will be out looking for a new job soon.

Andrew Little: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. [Interruption]

Mr SPEAKER: Order! The Leader of the Opposition wants to raise a point of order. Point of order, Andrew Little.

Andrew Little: I seek—[Interruption]

Mr SPEAKER: Order! This is a point of order. It will be heard in silence.

Andrew Little: I seek leave to table my income tax records from the year ended 31 March 2010 to the year ended 31 March 2016.

Mr SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table those particular records. Is there any objection? There is none. They can be tabled. [Interruption] Order! Mr Robertson, when I stand to my feet, it is at that time—

Grant Robertson: I was distracted over here.

Mr SPEAKER: I accept that he may have been distracted, but he needs to look in this direction a bit more often.

  • Documents, by leave, laid on the Table of the House.

 

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33 Comments

  1. Kitty Catkin

     /  12th April 2016

    Own goal ! Own goal ! Jersey is quite legit-he makes it sound as if they’re money-laundering. Anyone from there would be grossly insulted.

    John Key was driven to make that remark about the CV 😀

    Who wants to read Andrew Little’s tax returnzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  12th April 2016

      I agree, KCK. The media has sunk to a new low reporting on this topic. Does this mean if a child molester goes to the same accountant as me, and their is a criminal case brought against said molester, I will have my name reported because of association, and perceptions?

      Regarding Andy. I believe, getting blurry here….yawn, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

      Reply
  2. jamie

     /  12th April 2016

    I don’t see why we shouldn’t have completely open access to all of their financial records, all of the time.

    If they are working only for us then they shouldn’t have a problem with that.

    Reply
    • Iceberg

       /  12th April 2016

      What about teachers, policemen, fireman and all the other govt employees that work for “us”?

      What about beneficiaries having to disclose all financial info?

      Still keen on your idea?

      Reply
      • jamie

         /  12th April 2016

        Firemen policemen and teachers aren’t responsible for writing and passing the laws that we all have to live by.

        It’s a unique and exceptional position in society, with unique and exceptional responsibilities.

        Comparisons with ordinary jobs are quite fatuous.

        Reply
        • Iceberg

           /  12th April 2016

          Judges?
          Crown solicitors?
          Governor General?
          Military leaders?
          CEOs of SEOs?

          Reply
          • jamie

             /  13th April 2016

            No, Members of Parliament.

            Reply
            • Iceberg

               /  13th April 2016

              Maybe next time don’t bring a knife to a gunfight.

            • jamie

               /  13th April 2016

              I don’t know what you’re on about.

              I’m talking about Members of Parliament.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  12th April 2016

      They don’t spend their whole life working for us. Do you want all employers to have access to all the financial records of everyone working for them? That should be another winning policy for the loony Left.

      Reply
      • jamie

         /  12th April 2016

        No-one spends their whole life at work.

        However an MP shouldn’t have another job on the side.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  12th April 2016

          You didn’t answer my question. If people who work for us should tell us everything then you should tell your employer everything and so should everyone else. Or is it one law for you and a different one for everyone else?

          Reply
          • jamie

             /  13th April 2016

            I didn’t say they should declare everything because they work for us.

            I said if they work ONLY for us then they shouldn’t have a problem.

            They reason they should be transparent is not because they work for us, it’s because they govern us.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  13th April 2016

              They don’t only work for us. Most of them work for their political parties first and foremost. Parliament is just where they do it. They are representatives, not employees. They need to declare conflicts of interest but that is the end of their accountability. I see the idiot Lefty Corbyn has outed himself as not declaring some of his income. Competent people will not want the media salivating over and sensationalizing their lives so we will be left with the mediocrity – which of course is exactly what the Left want.

            • jamie

               /  13th April 2016

              They are representatives, yes. That is their job, representing us.

              Trying to draw a distinction between “working for us” and “working as our representatives” is just semantics.

              The point is that their job as representatives should be the only job they’re doing. If they want to be businesspeople or day-traders or whatever else then they should quit parliament and do that.

              It’s not much to ask of an honest person.

            • Iceberg

               /  13th April 2016

              What about their families, close friends, business associates? Should we insist they are an open book? Because without that, your plan is unworkable.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  13th April 2016

              Jamie, the best have had lives before politics in which they created other businesses and interests which will remain ticking over while they do their big job well. Mediocre people won’t do any job well no matter whether they do other things or not.

  3. Missy

     /  13th April 2016

    Something I saw earlier led me to believe that Little didn’t table his tax returns, just his PAYE records from IRD, if that is the case he hasn’t actually fully disclosed his tax records, and it is just a meaningless stunt.

    Funnily enough Corbyn is trying to get Cameron to disclose his tax records, apparently he is taking it further he thinks everyone in the public eye – including political journalists – should disclose their tax records, but I read yesterday that he hasn’t disclosed his yet, but this morning I saw where apparently Corbyn is the only one so far to have broken any tax laws! He filed his tax return late.

    Reply
    • Clemgeopin

       /  13th April 2016

      “apparently Corbyn is the only one so far to have broken any tax laws! He filed his tax return late”

      He filed his tax return late. Is that all? Quite a crime, isn’t it!
      Did he also cheat in his multi million and billion dollar tax returns? Did he have any tax dodging trusts in UK or in umpteen Tax havens around the world including in the clean green corruption free land of the whiter than white long long clouds? Some undeclared dad’s hidden inheritance set ups or some so called ‘Blind Trusts’ perhaps?

      Reply
        • Clemgeopin

           /  13th April 2016

          Ah, that would be so exciting your pro tax dodging pro rich prick gonads, I am sure. Enjoy!

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  13th April 2016

            Just entertaining watching the gormless Lefties:
            “Oh there’s my foot. Let’s put a bullet in it. Bang. Oh, f***!”

            Reply
      • Missy

         /  13th April 2016

        “He filed his tax return late. Is that all? Quite a crime, isn’t it!”

        It is against the law, so yes it is a crime, and he was fined for it. The level of punishment was reflected the level of offending, it is the same in NZ. It is a breach of the TAA to file your return to late.

        “Did he also cheat in his multi million and billion dollar tax returns? Did he have any tax dodging trusts in UK or in umpteen Tax havens around the world including in the clean green corruption free land of the whiter than white long long clouds? Some undeclared dad’s hidden inheritance set ups or some so called ‘Blind Trusts’ perhaps?”

        I gather by all of those stupid questions above you are talking about the UK PM, who by the way has broken no laws.

        Here’s a small simple law in tax law for you. Tax Evasion is illegal, Tax Avoidance / Reduction is not. If you deliberately do not declare income you are meant to, or pay tax you are required to by law it is tax evasion, if you take legal measures to reduce your tax payable it is tax reduction (or avoidance).

        So, when a tradesman comes to do a job for you and you pay him cash and he pockets it without declaring it, or the waitress doesn’t decare her tips, or the Union boss doesn’t pay his employees PAYE – that is Tax Evasion.

        When someone puts their money into a trust, or sets up a company to be paid in order to pay lower corporation tax (like most of the BBC presenters did), or after giving a donation fills in their return for the rebate – that is Tax Reduction.

        So, as I said, at this stage from what I have read Jeremy Corbyn is the only one to have actually broken any tax laws – I wasn’t commenting on the severity, but the irony, that he is having a go at the PM for doing something that has so far been shown to be legal when he is the one that has done something illegal regarding his tax.

        Reply
        • Clemgeopin

           /  13th April 2016

          Ok, I get it. Mr Corbyn who was fined 100 pounds was the REAL crook and all the capitalist rich pricks that LEGALLY hid millions and billions of dollars in various tax havens in cleverly formulated, secret accounts, trusts and blind trusts through the guile of expensive solicitors and tax experts are good clean buggers and have been unfairly and unjustly been exposed and maligned by these millions of files of Panama papers. I bet you will defend until your death St Satan and Rt. Hon. Lucifer too. In the meantime crucify the evil Mr Corbyn.

          Reply
          • Missy

             /  13th April 2016

            Wow, you really are an angry person aren’t you, not to mention suffering a bit in reading comprehension.

            All I have done is point out that the person in the UK who is making a song and dance about the trusts is the only person SO FAR to have broken any tax laws.

            I pointed out the difference between evasion and reduction (avoidance).

            I have not put forward an opinion on whether I agree with the laws or not. And as for your last point, you show the worst part of many of those on the extreme of political activism in attacking those that say something you don’t like. Just because I point out something in the law you don’t like is not a reason to decide what I will and won’t defend to the death, that was a stupid statement and a personal attack when I have made none on you. But since you have opened that up you are fair game, and I bet you are a person who will defend tax dodging unionists to the death, while crucifying those who become wealthy and successful through legitimate means. You need to be careful (as do many on the left) with these attacks, some that have been attacking the PM in the UK are found to have been involved in similar practices to avoid tax, if we had any decent journalists in NZ it is possible we would find similar things. After all David Cunliffe certainly knows how to use tax to avoid legal disclosures – nicely advised by Greg Presland from what I have heard.

            And as for your childish name calling, really, are you 6?

            On defending to the death, I may or may not defend a person to the death, but what I would defend to the death is for someone like you to have the right to debate ideas different to mine – can you say the same? I would guess not, from my experience those that talk about freedom of expression and ideas are the least likely to defend the rights of someone they disagree with, and most likely to be too cowardly to truly fight for the rights of people they disagree with, or dislike, or don’t know.

            Reply
            • Clemgeopin

               /  14th April 2016

              “And as for your childish name calling, really, are you 6?’

              What name calling?

  4. Gezza

     /  13th April 2016

    Firstly, there are no such rumours. Secondly, I do not think the member actually should table his tax return. I think he should table his CV because he will be out looking for a new job soon.

    Priceless. Little can’t do this. He just doesn’t have the sense of humour.

    Reply
    • Clemgeopin

       /  13th April 2016

      Key shows his arrogance and small mindedness and nastiness and you commend him for that! It is not a ‘sense of humour’ from Key, but more a sense of nastiness.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  13th April 2016

        I classify most of the smarty-arsery of Hon PM in the house as evasively unfunny Clem. I get the point Little is making tabling his tax records – I’d never do that. I doubt many if any of his Parliamentary colleagues would jump at the opportunity to do the same. The Corbyn situation illustrates what can go wrong with this idea so hopefully all is squeaky clean. I’m watching the Panama Papers unfolding slowly with great interest though. I also await more details of the Trust Review.

        Reply
        • Clemgeopin

           /  13th April 2016

          Personally, I think every MP and prospective MP should honestly and openly declare all their financial interests and tax records for the previous ten years. Being wealthy is not the problem. Being a dodger or crook is.

          We now know that Mr Corbyn was late in filing his returns, was fined100 Pounds and made a mistake in not declaring his pension amount in his return even though he had paid taxes on it. All that is now public knowledge and people can judge him on those issues and decide if he is a crook or not. The same openness should be the norm for all MPs and that is a very good thing in my opinion.

          My gut feeling is that the wealthy bastards using the tax havens like Panama and other places are crooks and should be investigated and if found guilty should be heavily fined along with the crooked tax solicitors enabling this sort of tax dodging rort, their wealth confiscated and they all should be jailed for pretty long periods. Show no mercy to these rich prick crooks, rogues and thieves.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  13th April 2016

            When crooks are found they should be slammed. When their citizens learn which of their governments legally allow money in trusts like these to go untaxed they will hopefully in some cases anyway get a chance to do something about that at the ballot box.

            Reply
  5. Clemgeopin

     /  13th April 2016

    /thedailyblog.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Screen-Shot-2016-04-13-at-8.44.03-am.png

    “Winston I am the emissary from the National big wigs with a top secret message for you”

    “Ok, shoot”

    “They are making an offer you can not easily refuse”

    “Ok, I am all ears”

    “Here is the deal. If you promise to join the National government coalition after the next election, they will offer you a high bauble, could be even the Prime Minister’s post for one term at least. What say you?”

    ” Um, that is interesting. Very very interesting indeed!”

    “So is that an Yes or a No?”

    “You know Don, I can’t possibly comment until after the election. As you know, It has ALWAYS been my public stance all along. Just let them know it is a very interesting offer. We will leave it at that for now”

    “Ok, Ok, I get it. Cool. cool. Let us drink our warm Darjeeling cuppa now and shake hands on it”

    “Ok, in memory of Key the currency gambler of Wall street and Hawaii, USA, let us include this Tax Payer’s ACT chap here too and do a vigorous three-way happy handshake”

    All three laugh. Ha, ha ha!

    – See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2016/04/13/political-caption-competition-don-brash-and-winston-peters-at-lunch/#comments

    Reply
  6. Clemgeopin

     /  13th April 2016

    Reply

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