New Zealand Labour Party

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.


“If that is the case he needs to take a firm stand and demand a law change. If it’s not illegal and just immoral then surely a law change would enable a level playing field where multinational companies contribute accordingly.

“Kiwis won’t tolerate this top level tax avoidance. It is a basic principle of our tax system that everyone should pay their fair share. People who go to work every day and do the right thing paying their taxes need to know that the government is on their side ensuring that big companies do the same.

“This is a problem that has a national and international dimension. There is work going on internationally which is important but fundamentally we need to enforce the law and create a better system that makes sure everyone pays their fair share.

“The first step is to follow the lead of countries like Australia and the UK and undertake a comprehensive review of tax avoidance. From that we need a law that ensures that if a company is in New Zealand and earning revenue, then they have to pay the appropriate corporate tax rate. The ethical thing to do should be the legal thing to do,” says Grant Robertson.