Little slams Shewan who slams Little

In Parliament today Andrew Little slammed tax expert John Shewan, but Shewan slammed Little back for not checking the accusations about the Bahamas with him first, which Shewan says are “completely and utterly inaccurate”.

2.ANDREW LITTLE (Leader—Labour) to the Prime Minister: Does he have any financial interests which may affect his decisions around foreign trusts; if so, what are those financial interests?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): No.

Andrew Little: Did he disclose to Cabinet his links to Antipodes Trust Group when making decisions on the review of foreign trusts in New Zealand?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I rely on the members knowing about my pecuniary interests.

Andrew Little: Did he send John Shewan and Don Brash to the Bahamas in 2014 to advise that Government on tax matters?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Yes. I think they went to talk to them about GST.

Andrew Little: Can he confirm that John Shewan and Don Brash advised the Bahamas that its financial services be zero-rated for value-added tax in order to protect the offshore services industry of that country?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: No. I am not aware of that level of detail.

Andrew Little: I seek leave to table an article from a Bahamas news outlet, not widely available—[Interruption]

Mr SPEAKER: Order! [Interruption] Order! The member is seeking leave to table a document. I want to listen to what it is. If there are interjections coming from particularly my far-right quadrant, that makes it difficult. Would the member start his introduction again as to what the document is.

Andrew Little: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I seek leave to table a media report from the Bahamas, not widely available, on the advice given by John Shewan and Don Brash to the Bahamas Government to the effect that international financial services be treated as zero-rated to protect—

Mr SPEAKER: Order! The document has been well and truly described. I will put the leave and the House will decide. Leave is sought to table that particular media article from the Bahamas. Is there any objection? There is none. It can be tabled.

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

Andrew Little: Does he not see that there is a fundamental problem with appointing a person to review our foreign trust laws who has advised a Government on how to protect its tax haven status?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: The member has proven over the last 2 weeks that he is completely unfit to judge who—

Mr SPEAKER: Order! [Interruption] Order! That is a straight personal reflection on the member who has asked the question, and that will be ruled out of order. Would the Prime Minister stand now and answer the question. [Interruption] Well, I have not heard the answer. [Interruption] Order! I have not heard the answer, so I am going to invite the member to re-ask the question so I can hear the answer.

Andrew Little: Does he not see that there is a fundamental problem with appointing a person to review our foreign trust laws who has advised a Government on how to protect its tax haven status?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I cannot confirm whether the Bahamas is a tax haven or not—I simply do not know. I do not think the member would know either.

Radio NZ followed up with Shewan: Trust reviewer rejects Labour’s Bahamas accusation

Labour leader Andrew Little has accused John Shewan, who has been appointed to review New Zealand’s rules on foreign trusts, of giving the Bahamas advice to preserve its status as a tax haven.

Mr Shewan told RNZ News the trip to the Bahamas had absolutely nothing to do with its status as a tax haven, and any suggestion of that was complete nonsense.

He said that the prime minister of the Bahamas had asked the New Zealand government to provide people to assist with putting GST in place in the Bahamas.

“Mr Key requested Don Brash and myself to go up there which we did.

“We recommended that they modify their proposed regime significantly and simply follow New Zealand’s rules across the board.”

Mr Shewan said they did recommend backing an existing exemption, as per international practice, that financial services be exempt from GST.

It appears that Little hasn’t bothered to check things out adequately, or he doesn’t care about facts as he continues his tax attacks against Key and Shewan.

More from RNZ: “Completely and utterly inaccurate” – Listen to John Shewan’s live interview on Checkpoint with John Campbell

Leave a comment

15 Comments

  1. kiwi dave

     /  13th April 2016

    rabid dog (TV3 patrick gower) just as useless at Little – fails to check with Shewan and does pathetic beat-up at 6pm

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  13th April 2016

      Remove the ‘at’ from Patrick Gower’s name and….

      It’s likely, isn’t it, that a tax haven will ask people who aren’t from one to tell them how to keep on being one, which, if they are one (and I don’t know if the Bahamas are) they will know already and will have known for years.

      Reply
  2. Talks cheap innit ?

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  13th April 2016

      It must have been on a clearance sale when Patrick Gower last bought some.

      Reply
  3. Strong For Life

     /  13th April 2016

    Little is a disgrace. Surely he must be the worst leader of any New Zealand political party ever? What an angry persona he has; all he does is criticise, whinge and grandstand, seldom checking facts before going into rabid attack mode. He is an embarrassment, It is an absolute insult to NZ taxpayers that this bozo earns almost $400,000 per annum in parliamentary salary, perks and allowances.

    Reply
  4. Perfect issue for Little. 95% of his target audience don’t know what a trust is let alone a trust used by foreigners to manage their monetary affairs…. BUT it all stinks of “rich pricks” and so just stir the pot, then watch the crap fly from mouths about how unfair it all is…

    Problem is for Little his target audience either already vote Labour, vote Green or just don’t vote….. so his wonderful strategy will achieve….ZERO outcomes…

    McCarten the grandmaster of strategy strikes again

    Reply
  5. Gezza

     /  13th April 2016

    Mr Shewan said they did recommend backing an existing exemption, as per international practice, that financial services be exempt from GST.

    Cam anyone tell me why Financial Services should be free from GST?

    Reply
  6. Pete Kane

     /  13th April 2016

    Hi dave, lovely to hear from you (and certainly not enough lately – hope everthing is fine). I know there’s alot of truth in what you say, but (but but) I really think this could be a biggy?

    Reply
    • I don’t think so Pete K…. can you see Keys voting base worrying about this? Or even the middle class swing vote that determines elections? Not really – most of them have family trusts themselves and use them to be tax efficient, most of them have run loss making rental property schemes when it made sense under the old tax rules……

      The Panama papers – tax havens…… really a big issue for the NZ Public? Not in my view…. an inquiry has been put in place, the Govt can say they cant comment until it delivers its report…..which will be months away, by when the Press reef fish will have forgotten all about it just like Dory in Finding Nemo…

      [And thank you I am very well thanks Pete….]

      Reply
  7. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  13th April 2016

    Who on earth are Little’s advisors/researchers.

    Reply
    • kiwi dave

       /  13th April 2016

      Maggy – you are assuming he has any. If he has, they are totally inept (well, f..king useless really!)

      Reply

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