Facts arising out of the Panama Papers

Christ Trotter summarised the Panama Papers:

  • New Zealand is not a tax haven in the generally accepted definition of that term.
  • Changes to New Zealand legislation have put this country at risk of being perceived as a tax haven.
  • The Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca, took advantage of our legislative laxity to promote New Zealand as a politically stable and corruption-free hiding place for their clients’ assets.
  • The National-led Government’s responses to IRD warnings that New Zealand was at risk of losing its corruption-free reputation were wholly inadequate.
  • The entire problem can be solved easily: simply by toughening-up the disclosure provisions of the relevant legislation.

Trotter also summarised Labour’s handling of the issue:

If Labour had been willing to assess these facts dispassionately, and with an eye to presenting itself as a credible alternative government, its handling of the Panama Papers would have been very different.

From the outset, it would have made it very clear that its number one priority was to protect New Zealand’s international reputation. That being the case, it would have been very careful to avoid calling their country a tax haven.

Their treatment of the Prime Minister would also have been different. Rather than attempting to associate him with the dubious behaviour of Mossack Fonseca, they would have acknowledged that the offending legislation had evolved gradually, under both Labour and National, and offered to make its remediation a bi-partisan effort.

Having sought out and obtained the best advice available from tax lawyers and accountants about how the legislation might best be rewritten to eliminate its usefulness to entities like Mossack Fonseca, Labour would then have approached the Government with an offer to rush through the necessary changes under urgency.

It’s hard to argue with this.

From Labour fails to make gains from Panama Papers

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15 Comments

  1. artcroft

     /  17th May 2016

    A very well put and level headed summation from Chris.

    Reply
    • Hall

       /  17th May 2016

      Yes I agree especially about the part stating there should be more disclosure. This will put a stop to tax avoidance from the rich.

      Reply
  2. Gezza

     /  17th May 2016

    For which obviously gross transgression some dolts at TS yesterday branded him a dangerously subversive “sellout” to their cause. Fortunately a few others there more level-headed were able to extract the wisdom imparted in Chris’s summary and attempt to make use of it in reasoning with the pitchfork-wavers.

    Reply
  3. Blazer

     /  17th May 2016

    on tax matters who to believe..ex Reserve Bank Governor or Trotter?

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  17th May 2016

      Ex-reserve bank governor. On strategy analysis concerning how Labour are handling this issue, who to believe … ex-reserve bank governor or long-time left-wing political commentator?

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  17th May 2016

        I suppose you think Prebble and Douglas are long-time left-wing commentators…too!

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  17th May 2016

          Blazer you are a credit to your unit. Despite steadily advancing daily into the face of withering fire, and while continually suffering multiple hits that would fell a lesser warrior with a thinner skin, you still ruggedly carry on, determinedly firing your pea shooter and throwing bags of dog poo at the enemy. Kia kaha e hoa.

          Reply
  4. Brown

     /  17th May 2016

    Yet Trotter still believes the left has the answers. There comes a time to cut your losses and go your own way lest you be assumed to be as stupid as those you follow.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  17th May 2016

      Exactly. That’s why after being raised a Christian I’m now an agnostic.

      Reply
      • Brown

         /  17th May 2016

        Agnostic? The courage of your lack of conviction? I wasn’t really raised a Christian but the more I study Christianity the more convinced I am that there’s something to it and, if push came to shove, would take a bullet for it rather than recant. Wife is the same – the call of the wild or something if you will but the decisions around it were quite rational as opposed to emotional.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  17th May 2016

          You’ll have to take a bullet for it Brown. It’s too late to back out now. You’ve bought it, and you’ll know that to now deny it is the unforgiveable sin (Mark 3:22-30, and Matthew 12:22-32).

          I’m an agnostic in the sense that after reading widely on Evolution Theory, Biology, Botany, Chemistry, Physics, Genomics, Cosmology, & Quantum Mechanics one shouldn’t discount the possibility that this didn’t all happen due to random events & that there may have been an intelligent creator. My feeling if there was one is that it probably did the job and went on to do something else, or maybe make more universes. Who knows?

          Reply
        • Jeeves

           /  18th May 2016

          ‘Call of the wild rationality”
          So Brown- you are convinced that there is ‘something’ to it-
          before you take that bullet, I’d love if you could describe it….LOL.

          Nah, only joking mate- take the bullet and enjoy the shortest ride to nothing ever

          Reply
        • Blazer

           /  18th May 2016

          I see ,so you are in fact a ‘follower’ of a man in the sky who has 10 things…you must not do!Oh the irony!

          Reply
  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  17th May 2016

    That’s the most sensible comment from Trotter I’ve read for a very long time. I could have written it myself!

    Reply

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