Panama Papers: Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story

The left wing has been quick to attempt to blame John Key for the situation outlined with the theft of private documents released yet again by a complicit media.

But as Richard Harman of Politik points out in his daily email the facts don’t line up with the left-wing blame game over the Panama Papers.

While the Prime Minister was sticking to his briefing notes at his weekly press conference yesterday on the question of the 11,000 offshore trusts registered in New Zealand, it appears the Clark Labour Government may have enabled their presence here.

The 2007 rewrite of the Income Tax sets out how overseas people can set up in trusts in New Zealand and pay no tax provided that none of the income in the trust originates in New Zealand.

In 2005 Labour’s Finance Minister, Michael Cullen, tightened up reporting requirements for the trusts but emphasised that their activities would remain tax free.

He said: “”Foreign trusts will be required to have an IRD number, keep records for New Zealand tax purposes, provide certain information when they are first set up in New Zealand or appoint New Zealand trustees, and provide information to Inland Revenue on a regular basis.

Under New Zealand law, foreign income derived by non-residents is outside the New Zealand tax base, and rightly so. The government has no intention of changing that. Because they are not taxed here, foreign trusts that are set up here do not have to file New Zealand income tax returns or keep records if they receive only foreign-sourced income.

Those pesky facts haven’t stopped the idiot currently leading the Labour party to jump straight in.

Labour Leader Andrew Little said: ““The question for John Key is how long he has been aware that New Zealand is becoming a favourite investment location for foreign companies looking to keep their profits tax-free, and what has he done about it. The Prime Minister must address claims he has fought to retain the loophole whereby foreign trusts that hold offshore property and earn offshore income have no tax obligations in New Zealand and don’t have to file an annual income tax return here.”

I’ve looked a bit further into this as well, and I’ve found out something else that is interesting.

The Trustee Act 1956 was created under National.

Then it was amended under Labour with the The Trustee Amendment Act 1988.

And further amended by Labour in 2005 with the Trustee Amendment Act 2005.

So it appears that the Trustee Act has only been amended twice, both times, by Labour and not since John Key has been in office. It was that paragon of the left Helen Clark and her Finance Minister Michael Cullen who were the last to amend it.

As is usual the Media party, quick to see an opportunity to bash National have jumped on the band-wagon. Where this may hurt though is Helen Clark’s bid for the UN Secretary-General’s job, as she will now be known as the PM who last amended the Trustees Act which is now the subject of an international scandal.

 – Politik

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