The Wellington Town Belt will grow by 120 hectares after the passing today of the Wellington Town Belt Bill, Labour MP for Wellington Central Grant Robertson says.
“The Town Belt is loved by Wellingtonians as a green and open space that surrounds our city. I am very proud to have been the sponsor of this legislation on behalf of the Wellington City Council. Since it was first envisioned land has been lost to the protection, but under this legislation there is now a mechanism to add land, and on passing 120 hectares will immediately come under the protections of the Town Belt.
Revelations that John Key's personal lawyer and trust advisor led a lobbying campaign to shut down a review of New Zealand's foreign trust regime makes the case for a full scale independent inquiry a matter of urgency, Labour's Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.
“Nothing less than an independent inquiry led by a person of the stature of a Judge with the ability to call witnesses and subpoena evidence will restore confidence from taxpayers in the fairness of our system.
The Government has dropped the ball with Michael Woodhouse admitting in the House today that Ministers have never sought any advice from Treasury on the extent and impact of multinational tax avoidance on the Government’s finances, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“It is extraordinary that a Minister would say investigating tax avoidance from major overseas corporates is ‘a waste of time’ as he did at Question Time. It’s a stunning admission given the loss of revenue could run into the billions of dollars
New Zealand’s growth per person is significantly lower than countries like the UK and America, showing our economy is driven by population growth rather than productivity, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“Along with flat per person growth, we have seen a fall in per capita real incomes. This means on average Kiwis are getting poorer. That’s because the key driver is population growth, not new businesses, industries and exports which is what’s needed to boost growth per person.
John Key’s out-of-court settlement with photographer Bradley Ambrose is incredibly embarrassing and he should have the decency to apologise, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.
“Night after night John Key smeared Bradley Ambrose on television in the middle of a high-profile political campaign. By taking the purely political decision to attack an innocent New Zealand taxpayer he made it difficult for Mr Ambrose to get work.
If John Key is not prepared to act on his view that multinationals not paying tax is ethically wrong, but not legally wrong his moral compass has gone missing says Labour’s finance spokesperson, Grant Robertson.
“The Prime Minister has admitted twice on television this weekend that the multinational tax avoidance is ethically wrong, but at the same time he says it is within the law.
Figures in the New Zealand Herald raise serious concerns about the amount of tax paid by offshore corporations and should see action by the Government, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“Most commentators agree some large corporations are avoiding paying tax and acknowledge it is a widespread global issue. Other countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia have held inquiries that have revealed highly dubious practices in some cases.
The latest drop in the dairy price shows a rebound is not coming soon and the Government needs get moving on diversification, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“The latest fall in global dairy trade auction is a further clarion call for diversification of the economy. National’s claim the price drop will have a limited fallout ignores yesterday’s MYOB Business Monitor showing that over a fifth of small businesses have been affected.
The OCR cut today shows National needs to step up and support the Reserve Bank to ensure the country is able to handle ‘the increasing risks to the economy’, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“The cut to the OCR shows the economy is in need of stimulus, with growing concerns about dairy, the international economy, and the housing market. Current growth is being driven by short-term, non-sustainable factors like migration. As the Reserve Bank said, ‘Growth per person hasn’t been as strong as it might have been’. In fact it has been close to zero over the last year.
Bill English has admitted the dairy industry is in the Reserve Bank’s severe scenario which could lead to almost half of dairy farmers defaulting on their loans, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.
“On Morning Report Bill English said the dairy industry is in an extreme or severe scenario, following the fall in Fonterra’s payout to below $4. In the Reserve Bank’s modelling that could lead to 44 per cent of farmers defaulting on their loans. That’s 5,000 farmers and a huge flow-on effect to their communities.