Sam’s tax increase has sparked a crime wave

Sam Lotu Iiga was all proud as punch when he beefed up tobacco taxes.

Perhaps he won’t be so pleased as a crime wave sweeps across the nation all because of increased taxes.

Dairy owners are fortifying their businesses as the lucrative black market for tobacco fuels a wave of commercial break-ins.

Burglars have targeted up to 20 cigarette retailers – predominantly dairies and service stations – in about the last fortnight in Christchurch, making off with thousands of dollars worth of tobacco products.

Police have launched an investigation dubbed Operation Smoke as they try to catch those responsible. They are yet to make any arrests, but have some suspects.

A dairy owner, who did not want to be identified, said thieves smashed through the wooden backdoor of his business in south Christchurch, about 1.30am on September 24.

They used a crowbar to open a locked cabinet inside and stole about $10,000 worth of tobacco products.   Read more »

John Key’s government is the best Labour-led coalition we’ve ever had

Writes ACT’s Free Press

Taxes Up
National’s colonisation of Labour territory is complete.  We thought Helen Clark knew how to straddle the centre of politics but John Key has taken the art to a whole new leech-like level.  The confirmation came last week after National boasted they had made the tax system more progressive.

You Heard That Right
With Bill English safely overseas, poor old Steven Joyce was left to announce that the top 10 per cent of households now pay 37.2 per cent of taxes, compared with 35.5 per cent when the socialist Labour/Green/NZ First parties were last in power. Read more »


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After slamming the government Robbo, with his next breath, says Labour will increase taxes

As I said previously Grant Robertson knows as much about finance as Jacinda Ardern does about child rearing.

After slamming the government over tax cuts in his next breath he announces Labour will fight the election proposing tax increases.

Labour is planning to announce tax increases before the next election to help fund its spending plans but will leave the detailed work until it is in government.

Their spending promises are shaping up to be massive. Billions upon billions, and the only way they can fund that is by stiffing us with tax increases.

In a pre-Budget speech to a business breakfast on Monday, Labour finance spokesman Grant Robertson said a Tax Working Group would be set up after the election to develop ways to correct the imbalances between the productive and speculative parts of the economy.

“While we want a comprehensive review there will be some interim steps that we will announce before the election … to ensure that we have the revenue to address pressing issues, particularly in health, education and housing,” he said.

“I think it’s only fair to New Zealand we go to the next election with some sense of the direction of our tax policy. We want the Tax Working Group to do the detailed work but I think it’s only fair for New Zealanders that they see the path we are on.

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Grant Robertson knows what’s in the government’s budget (clue: nope)

Grant Robertson knows as much about finance as Jacinda Ardern knows about raising children.

Both have spouted off in the past couple of days but Robbo has declared that Labour will fight the next election with the promise of a tax working group.

The Government’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce, Labour’s finance spokesman Grant Robertson says.

Mr Robertson is accusing the Government of making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts, but failing to include them in the Budget.

“We are not as a country in a position to be offering tax cuts when there are families living in cars and garages,” Mr Robertson said in a pre-Budget speech in Wellington today.

“I have a specific challenge to John Key and Bill English when it comes to tax cuts – if you really believe they are the right thing to do for New Zealand, cost them properly and put them into Budget 2017, rather than dangling them about in an election campaign as a promise from Neverland.”  Read more »

I don’t want hints John, I want cuts

After Bill English cancelled promised tax cuts the PM is now making hints of tax cuts in election year.

Prime Minister John Key has signalled National will campaign in 2017 on a $3 billion package of tax cuts.

Last week Finance Minister Bill English ruled out offering tax cuts in this year’s Budget and said it was not currently in the plan for the 2017 Budget either, although that could alter.

Speaking to Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB this morning, Mr Key said tax cuts had been ruled out in the short term because it was a choice of spending $1 billion on tax cuts “to deliver very small amounts” or spending that money on healthcare and other areas.

However, he signalled National was working on a more substantial package of cuts for 2017. “We are not ruling that out for 2017 or campaigning on it for a fourth term in 2017, but having a bigger one, to be blunt, than $1 billion.” Asked how much was needed to deliver meaningful tax cuts, he said: “$3 billion, I reckon.”

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So, is NZ a tax haven?

The left-wing, the opposition and the Media party are all claiming that NZ has become a tax haven as a result of the revelations in the so-called Panama Papers.

So is NZ a tax haven?

Well, the short answer is no.

The slightly longer answer is not even close.

Fortunately the OECD has written a Policy Paper on tax havens, a document the Media party clearly haven’t read, much less understood.

2.1 Definitions of Tax Havens

Given the importance of the issue and the international commitments in this area, it might be expected that identifying tax havens would be straightforward, but this is not the case. There is no agreed definition of what the term “tax haven” actually means. Probably the best known definition of a tax haven is that used by the OECD (1998).

Four key indicators of tax havens are identified:

  1. No or only nominal taxes (and offering, or being perceived as offering, a place for non-residents to escape tax in their country of residence);
  2. Lack of transparency (such as the absence of beneficial ownership information and bank secrecy);
  3. Unwillingness to exchange information with the tax administrations of OECD member countries; and
  4. Absence of a requirement that activity be substantial (transactions may be “booked” in the country with no or little real economic activity).

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Green MP: Key not responsible for trust problem


So far the Panama leaks have been positively underwhelming.

A sure sign of this is a Green MP, Julie Anne Genter, admitting that John Key isn’t directly responsible for the [tax haven] laws and what people and companies are doing “technically legal”.  Read more »

A Little elephant in the room – Part 3

Where were we? That’s right, it had just been established that the Council of Trade Unions via then-head Helen Kelly had issued a “please explain” to Unite Union and Matt McCarten. But it is McCarten’s response to Dominion-Post journalist Rebecca Stevenson that is the most enlightening:

Unite head Matt McCarten confirmed yesterday that the union owed money to the IRD but said he had made choices to pay for union campaigns rather than clear the debt. “I don’t shy away from these decisions, I make the calls.”

So Matt McCarten, is now Chief of Staff for the Leader of the Labour Party, fellow former union boss Andrew Little. But some time around the time of the 2008 General Election, McCarten made a conscious decision not to pass on PAYE deducted from Unite Union staff to the IRD as he is legally required to do.    Read more »

A Little elephant in the room – Part 2

So it’s been established that Andrew Little, leader of the Labour Party doesn’t like people who evade paying tax. So why does he employ one as his Chief of Staff?

That’s a pretty fair question, don’t you think? It’s probably one that David Cunliffe should have considered before he hired Matt McCarten in 2014 and set up the infamous War Room. And it’s certainly something Andrew Little should have considered before he went full retard on John Key over the last two weeks, and before he made a factually incorrect attack on John Shewan.

Matt McCarten and Unite Union’s tax issues first became a public issue in 2010. Rebecca Steven reported this in Stuff on 2 December 2010:

One of New Zealand’s largest unions, Unite, owes IRD over $130,000 including over $36,000 in tax meant to be paid on behalf of its employees.

The union’s accounts, which can be publicly viewed through a Government website, shows Unite’s liabilities exceeded its assets by over $170,000 for the year ended March 2009.

A further $57,630 is owed to the Government tax collector for GST.

Unite head Matt McCarten admitted to BusinessDay this afternoon that the union owed money to IRD and said the union was “keen” to pay.

He said it was “not that much in the great scheme of things”.

PAYE stands for pay-as-you-earn. This money is collected from employees by employers and then paid to the IRD.

Right-wing blogger David Farrar said on his Kiwiblog this was a very bad look for a trade union as it meant Unite had been collecting the tax but not paying it.   

Read more »