A Little elephant in the room

The e-mail from Andrew Little to SB was the final straw, especially the bit where he said:

We’re not the sort of country that wants to be known as a haven for the global mega-rich to hide their wealth and avoid paying their fair share. We’re better than that.

In a way, Little is right; we ARE better than that. But not in the way he implies.

Most Kiwis grudgingly meet their tax obligations. We don’t like it, but as they say in the classics, there are only two certainties in life; death, and taxes. And as fair-minded Kiwis, we have a level of distaste for those who deliberately evade the taxman.

And that’s where Andrew Little is vulnerable, and where his hypocrisy needs to be called out. You see, he employs a tax evader as his Chief of Staff. This is not a smear, but an established fact as reported by Stuff on 26 July 2011:

Inland Revenue is chasing unionist Matt McCarten’s Unite Support Services for $150,750 in unpaid taxes after the department forced the company into liquidation last month.

McCarten’s vehicle, which supplied administrative support services to the youth-orientated union Unite, was put into liquidation by a High Court order last month after the IRD pursued it for “failure to provide for taxation,” according to the first liquidator’s report.   

First things first. Unite Social Services Limited was a private company, owned by one Matthew Patrick McCarten of Auckland. Incorporated in 2003, the Companies Office reports the company went into liquidation on 17 June 2011, and was removed from the Register of Companies on 26 July 2013.

When it went belly-up, Unite Support Services Limited owed IRD in excess of $150,000. But that’s not the worst part, the original Stuff article notes:

The Unite union assigned an interest in a lease and the provision of educational activities to McCarten’s company, according to its 2009 financial statements, the latest lodged with the Companies Office. The union has the right to take action against McCarten’s company if there’s a default on the lease agreement.

The union ran afoul of the IRD after failing to pay tax on revenue accrued between October 2007 and March 2009. After racking up $134,000 in unpaid tax, it agreed to repay that at a rate of $8000 a month.

The company reported a net deficit of $33,700 in the 2009 year and made a loss of $15,500 the year before.

In addition to USS Ltd’s $150,750 the Unite Union itself, run with an iron hand by McCarten, ran up its own tax bill of $134,000. And to make matters worse, a good portion of this was unpaid PAYE that had been deducted from the staff on the Unite Union on pay day, but not passed on as legally required by the union.

Are you starting to see where this is going? Wait until the next instalment then!

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.