News about the Economy & Employment

Full transparency needed from PM and Government

John Key’s proposal to appoint a ‘tax expert’ to review our foreign trusts doesn’t go far enough and he must instead launch a full independent inquiry into the details coming out of the Panama Papers, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.

“New Zealand’s reputation is being sullied around the world. It is essential we regain our international respect and fix these issues.

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New Zealand Business R&D lags OECD pack

New Zealand business R&D ranks in the bottom quarter of the OECD and far below leading small countries, Labour’s Science, Innovation, Research and Development spokesperson David Cunliffe said today.

“New Zealand business expenditure on R&D (BERD) is 0.54 per cent of GDP, a third of the OECD average of 1.62 per cent.

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Ministers sought no advice on level of multinational tax avoidance

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


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John Key must come clean on offshore trust loopholes

John Key must come clean about what he knew and what he has done about New Zealand becoming a haven for rich foreign investors looking to hide their fortunes in secret trust accounts, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says.

“New Zealand’s reputation is at risk from the reports emerging from the so-called Panama Papers. International media stories today directly mention John Key and his discussions with the Malta Prime Minister at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in November 2015.

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Joyce needs to take responsibility for his blunders

Steven Joyce today admitted he’s got no idea of the size of his Ministry’s payroll liability six months after being told legal breaches were being investigated, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.

“Employment lawyers say the majority of payroll issues relate to confusion caused by changes the Government made to the Holidays Act in 2011. The blame for any ambiguity in the law lies at National’s feet because they conducted a full review in 2010.

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Growth per person lower than UK, US, Japan

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.


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Fonterra profit announcement little relief for farmers

Fonterra’s profit announcement today offers little relief for struggling farmers who will still be forced to borrow billions more from the banks to keep afloat, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.

“A quarter of our farmers could still go out of business and there are 100,000 small businesses suffering the effects of the diary downturn.

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Imported steel must be tested to meet NZ standards

The Government must urgently toughen the checks to ensure imported steel meets the quality standard which exists to protect New Zealanders, Labour’s Regulatory Reform spokesperson David Parker says.

“It is crazy that the high standards New Zealand-made steel must meet is not enforced for imported steel.

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Ethics and Law on Tax Shouldn't Be Different

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.


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