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Government wipes off $5 billion in tax debt

Since coming to office, the National Government has written off $5 billion* in tax debt owed by more than a million, Labour MP Stuart Nash says.

"There are two sides to the New Zealand economy under the National government: the ‘rock star economy trumpeted by Finance Minister Bill English and the one we don’t see or hear about.

"That includes the 169,000 individuals who had $930,000 written off during the last tax year.  This amount has increased by over $200,000 since the 2008/2009 tax year and by nearly $300,000 since the 2009/2010 tax year – the supposed height of the global financial crisis.

"None of these figures include those individuals who are in an arrangement with the IRD to pay back overdue tax debt in a managed way.  In 2014, this number increased to 81,900; up from 63,000 in the 2009 tax year.

"We also haven’t heard about the 720,000 New Zealand companies who have had their total tax liabilities written off by the IRD because the IRD has assessed that their ability to ever pay back this debt is zero.

"We need to acknowledge that our so-called ‘rock star’ economy isn’t all about beer-and-skittles for a great many hardworking Kiwis", said Stuart Nash. 

* Write-off value excludes Child Support debt and includes Student Loan, KiwiSaver and Working for Families debt. It includes penalties and interest written off.