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Bright line test: Chaos and collateral damage

National’s bright line test was an act of desperation that has descended into chaos for the Government and experts say will cause collateral damage for homeowners, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“OIA papers show officials advised against the test being for such a short period of time, suggesting five years, not two.

“Treasury also advised against applying the test retrospectively saying it ‘would cause uncertainty for taxpayers’ and there was ‘no requirement for immediacy’.

“The Government had to rush it through as they were desperate to look as though they were doing something on Budget Day.

“Now tax and legal experts are lining up to slam the Government’s chaotic decision making. EY Executive Director David Snell described himself as ‘professionally confused’ by National’s housing agenda.

“Peter Vial of Chartered Accountants said the retrospective legislation creates ‘collateral damage’ for homeowners and Stephen Tomlinson of the Law Society Taxation Committee slammed it as ‘a bad idea’, ‘incoherent’ and ‘ineffective’.

“With officials, experts and homeowners all confused, angered and frustrated with the Government its Bright Line test is flat-lining,” Grant Robertson says.