New Zealand Labour Party

Tax history should be an open book for leaders

In revealing his tax history for the past six years today, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says transparency is crucial for public confidence in political leaders.

“I have no qualms in releasing my history of tax payments because I believe New Zealanders want to know that those at the top are paying their full fair share and are not protecting those who are not.

“British PM David Cameron has done it to allay fears that he has been tax dodging. I think it is important that our Prime Minister does the same.

“For the past week John Key has seemed to protect the world’s global rich who hide their wealth in New Zealand and fail to pay tax. After public pressure, he has done the bare minimum and asked a single tax consultant to review our laws behind closed doors with only the narrowest terms of reference.

“The question is why it has taken him so long to act, why is the inquiry a white-wash before it has begun and what does he have to hide by downplaying New Zealand’s tax haven reputation?

“It has obviously taken a public poll to tell him our laws are wrong, what is happening is immoral and that New Zealanders know more about fair play than he does.

“What most Kiwis want is a full, open inquiry led by those who will ask the question: why do we have these tax laws at all?

“Full transparency is the only thing which will restore public confidence in our tax regime. John Key must do the right thing and make public his own tax record,” Andrew Little says.