John Shewan

Comrade Vernon Small isn’t that pleased with Lying Little either

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Vernon Small is a man of the left; he goes through life looking thorough red tinted glasses.

He isn’t that impressed with Lying Little either.

Ok, it is no surprise that many of our elected representatives can be “economical with the truth”. Thus it was in the beginning ….

But you would think there was enough evidence from around the world?of how tired voters are getting with politics as usual and with the insider games and rhetoric – of?fudging,?dissembling?and “politics as usual”.

We had our own version in the MMP vote. Dumping first-past-the-post was not just about replacing an?unrepresentative?electoral system, but also about disciplining?politicians?from both sides of the aisle – over the head of their objections – for promising one thing and delivering another.

Insider-allergy was?a key element in the rise of Donald Trump and the success of Bernie Sanders in the United States (though as evidence of?the dangers of being economical with the truth? Maybe less compelling.) ? ? Read more »

Red Claire comments on Little’s lies

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Red Claire Trevett has commented on Lying Little’s?attack on, and failure to apologise to, John Shewan:

The Shewan report should have been a major victory for Labour. It vindicated the party’s criticism of the foreign trust regime and embarrassed the Government for its reluctance to look into the regime. It should have provided weeks of fun for Labour rubbing Key’s nose in it.

Sure enough, Little leapt on it with glee, singing paeans of praise for Shewan, his report and “his formidable, technical tax brain” in Parliament.

Alas, Little had bitten the hand that feeds. Only two months earlier, Little had questioned the choice of Shewan to undertake the review and made incorrect comments about Shewan’s work for the Bahamas. Little made the comments in April and they featured prominently in the media – as did Shewan’s denial.

Read more »

What did Little expect when he accused a forensic accountant of lying?

Andrew Little should apologise to tax expert John Shewan for treating him with utter contempt and total disrespect.

Mr Little has been caught out big time — and it serves him right.

Mr Little got things wrong about Mr Shewan and has to put them right.

So Mr Little issued a retraction — at 5:17pm on Saturday, June 20 — two hours and 18 minutes before kick-off of the Wellington Test.

This is so cynical it is sad. Everybody knows that is the absolutely dead time in a media cycle when it would get the least attention. It is cunning and awful and rude and Mr Little’s actions show why people distrust politicians.

Now things have bounced back on Mr Little and?his own credibility is being called into question — and it serves him right.

A lot of this is arcane and complex but it is important because Mr Little is auditioning to be Prime Minister. His actions and his words are important.

Mr Little yesterday repeatedly said that Mr Shewan did not ask him for an apology?about incorrect statements made about him.

So then Mr Shewan pulled out a letter to Mr Little that said: “I now request the statement I sent to you yesterday be issued with the following additions: ‘I apologise to Mr Shewan for any embarrassment I have caused him through my statements’.”

Sadly for Mr Little, it doesn’t get much clearer than that. Contrary to his public claims, Mr Shewan asked for an apology.

It seems Little lies a little too easily and, more surprisingly, he does so when the potential damage far outweighs the benefits.

It is clear that Andrew Little is easily manipulated into taking a position that he will then blindly defend.?? Not a “take a backward step” kind of man. That’s a useful trait for a union boss. It is quite a liability for a politician. Read more »

Lying Little busted by John Shewan

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So, it seems Andrew Little simply can’t tell the?truth.

In the?dead of the night a couple of hours before an All Black test he issued a retraction but not an apology to John Shewan for smearing him.

When pressed on that issue yesterday he said he wasn’t asked for an apology by John Shewan.

That was a lie.

John Shewan quickly busted that by releasing the letter to Andrew Little that specifically requests an apology.

Tax expert John Shewan says that claims by Andrew Little that he did not seek an apology from the Labour leader are misleading.

The statement that I never asked for an apology is completely incorrect,” Mr Shewan told the Herald today.

Mr Little told reporters this morning that he did not apologise to Mr Shewan, a former PwC chairman, over incorrect statements he made about his background in April because he was never asked to.

“I wasn’t asked to provide an apology. I was asked to provide his assurance that the media report I relied on was wrong.”

He added: “[Mr Shewan] explicitly said ‘I don’t need you to apologise, I want a correction of a statement’, and that’s what I’ve done.”

When asked again to confirm that Mr Shewan had not asked for an apology, Mr Little said: “That’s my recollection of the first face-to-face discussion that we had.”

Following the release of the Panama Papers in April, Mr Little questioned the choice of Mr Shewan to lead an inquiry into the disclosure rules for foreign trusts based in New Zealand.

He wrongly claimed that Mr Shewan had once helped advise the Bahamas Government on how to preserve its tax haven status.

Mr Shewan said today that he originally only asked the Labour leader to retract his “defamatory” comments. ? Read more »

Key?s independent foreign trust enquiry sends all the right signals, but will anything be done?

The opposition slighted John Shewan and Andrew little issued an apology for his attacks against him.

Meanwhile John Shewan has delivered his report and the opposition should really be on bended knees, except that he says the rules that Labour brought in under Helen Clark aren’t fit for purpose.

New Zealand’s tax system has been given a fail grade on disclosure by an independent inquiry.

Tax expert John Shewan was appointed to investigate foreign trust disclosure rules following the Panama Papers saga.

Mr Shewan found that “existing foreign trust disclosure rules are inadequate” and recommended disclosure arrangements should be strengthened.

He also found the publicity around the Panama Papers has the potential to cause reputational damage to New Zealand.

Although he was not given access to the Panama Papers themselves, Mr Shewan said: “It is reasonable to conclude that illicit funds are being hidden in New Zealand foreign trusts.”

In what would make a major change to the foreign tax rules, Mr Shewan makes the recommendation that trust beneficiaries need to be declared.

Under current arrangements, the beneficiaries of trusts (the people that receive the money in them) do not need to be declared and are therefore secret.

But Mr Shewan’s recommendation that beneficiaries have to be declared would take out a crucial motivating factor for people wanting to hide money, as they would not be able to hide anymore. ? Read more »

Sounds like someone might have had another legal letter

Andrew Little has backed down over his outrageous comments over John Shewan.

They were as intemperate as his comments about the Hagamans.

Labour leader Andrew Little has today backed down from comments that the man charged with investigating New Zealand’s offshore trusts industry had advised the Bahamas Government on protecting its financial sector from tax changes.

Former PricewaterhouseCoopers chair John Shewan travelled to the island nation with former National Party leader Don Brash in 2014 to provide advice on GST changes.

The trip was arranged after a meeting between Prime Minister John Key and Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie.

On April 13, Mr Little alleged that Mr Shewan and Dr Brash had effectively advised the Bahamas – a country known for tax haven activity – on how to protect its offshore financial services industry and maintain its haven status. ?? Read more »

Labour screws up by attacking Shewan

Labour skewered their own attack with dodgy information and defamed John Shewan in?the?process.

Radio NZ reports:

With the release of the latest pecuniary register, a surprise addition with Mr Key declaring a short-term deposit with a firm specialising in foreign trusts; a company that talks up the benefits of New Zealand’s “tax-neutral” environment and disclosure regime as being conducive to “carefully managing the inter-generational transfer of wealth” – exactly the type of arrangements the government has agreed to review.

Mr Key mounted a “nothing to see here” response.

His long-time lawyer moved firms and took the deposit, that now sits in a bank account, to his new company Antipodes Trust Group Limited, Mr Key said.

Nothing illegal, nothing unethical, but a gift to the opposition nonetheless, which could have used the mid-week question time to link Mr Key with foreign trusts, even in a superficial way.

Read more »

Labour tax policy panned

As people wake up to the deliberate absence of critical details from Labour’s economic policies, John Shewan tears apart the income tax component of Labour’s borrow and hope strategy.

PwC Chairman and Tax Working Group member John Shewan is critical of the income tax aspects of Labour?s tax package. Leaving CGT aside, which Shewan says is clearly an issue where there are pros and cons, and the pivotal question is whether an overall net benefit will result, he described the balance of the package as being directly contrary to several of the foundation principles set down by the TWG.

In particular, the TWG?s strong recommendations around lowering and aligning tax rates, maintaining a comprehensive GST base (no member of the TWG supported GST coming off fruit and veges), and reintroducing incentives falls well short of the principles laid out in the TWG Report. Shewan points to the significant distortions caused by the up-ending of the tax system last time the tax rate was increased at 39%, and questions why NZ would want to go through the same pain again.

He also laments the fact the Govt declined to accept the recommendation institutional arrangements be introduced to ensure there is a strong focus on achieving and sustaining efficiency, fairness, coherence and integrity of the tax system when changes are introduced. He argues on this score the non CGT aspects of the package announced last week fall well short of the TWG framework, which is based on accepted orthodoxy from the OECD and similar organisations.

As we know Labour doesn’t want to tell us the details, they think the public aren’t interested and they will be found to be boring. ACtually Trevor was wrong about that, it isn’t that we will find them boring, it is that we find them dishonest.

Tax Expert marks Labour's tax plan

John Shewan from Price Waterhouse Coopers marks Labour’s tax grab plan:

He said Labour seems to have ignored most of the advice it was given by the Tax Working Group and believes its strategy would get a mark of “three out of 10” if it was to be reviewed by the OECD.

Bummer. Labour have been talking up the OECD all week.

The Chairman of Accountants Price Waterhouse Coopers, John Shewan told AMP Business the plan unfairly targets the better off.

“To me this package sends a signal that if you’re in the top 10% don’t hang around,” he said.

“We talk about fairness, it’s probably not well known that half of New Zealand households pay no net tax at all, the top 10% pay about 60% – 65% of net tax and the top 2% pay over 20%. In terms of fairness we’re saying that very top group needs to pay more? To me that sends some very perverse signals.”

“Three out of ten” and “perverse signals”…doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement does it. But then again what can you expect when Labour hasn’t done any work instead preferring to leave that an?amorphous?”Expert Panel”.

I’m not at all confident of Cunliffe’s promises either:

“We think we’ve hit a fair balance here. Most people won’t pay the (capital gains) tax, probably only 8% of New Zealanders in a given year. There’s no retrospective component, the family home is exempt and personal property is exempt. We’ve even got Canterbury out of the net for the next?five years after the election.”

and

“Only about 1.7% people will be in the top tax rate, most people will get an improvement in their tax position,” he said.

Last time Labour promised only a certain percentage would be affected was the last time they put their envy tax in place. They promised the electorate that only 5% of income earners would pay their taxes, it ended up being closer to 15%. We can’t believe Labour when they talk about their taxes only affecting a small percentage. Their track record proves otherwise.

As I said before, the devil is in the detail and Labour don’t want to talk about the detail.

Yoof stick it to Labour

The Herald has continued its series of face to face polls and has some quotes that should make the politically correct Helenists quake in their collectivist boots.

“The current Government is too concerned with being politically correct,”

“It is too afraid to step up and make a real difference that offends people.

“I feel National will be able to do things, even if it does offend people. For example, at the moment [Labour] is pretty much taxing everything that decent rich people have and giving it all to poor people.”

Luke, James and classmates Hriday Shah, Julia Simons and Karl Wilshier all say education is being “dumbed down” under the National Certificate of Educational Achievement.

Oh dear, labour losing the yoof….about the only sector supporting Labour now are the queers.

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