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Key shrugs shoulders at tax haven status

The Prime Minister’s inability to tell New Zealanders how many of the 12,000 secret foreign trusts in New Zealand are being used for illegal purposes makes a mockery of his claims there is full disclosure in the regime, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.

“John Key today shrugged his shoulders when asked which secret trusts were being used for tax dodging, to hide stolen assets or to launder money – because he doesn’t know.

“That is because there is no disclosure in New Zealand. We are a tax haven.

“Foreign trusts here do not have their names or trustees published in a public database and they do not automatically supply any financial information to the Government.

“John Key is protecting the global mega-rich who are hiding their wealth in New Zealand and not paying their fair share. New Zealand is seen around the world as a tax haven for the corrupt – no wonder we are sliding down the Corruption Index on John Key’s watch.

“That’s wrong, and it’s ruining New Zealand’s reputation as a clean and fair dealer.

“The only people benefiting from our loose foreign trust laws are those with something to hide. Shrugging your shoulders is not what a responsible Prime Minister would do,” Andrew Little says.