The Looting of NZ's Tax BaseAssociate Treasurer
Associate Treasurer, Hon Tuariki Delamere, said today he was concerned the debate over the report of the Winebox Inquiry was missing the point.
"So far, I've heard a lot about the former heads of the Serious Fraud Office and the Inland Revenue Department, but very little about the central issue, which is the systematic looting of the New Zealand tax base by big, powerful companies.
"The Commissioner, Sir Ron Davison, himself says that because New Zealand courts consider only the form, and not the substance, of tax transactions "the parties may, therefore, document whatever falsities suit their tax avoidance purposes".
The Minister said it sounded almost as if the Commissioner was inviting companies to get away with not paying their fair share of taxes.
"Ordinary New Zealanders, and especially Maori because of the way they were legally robbed over decades, are well aware of the difference between legal correctness and ethical correctness.
"It is of enormous concern to me that the heads of some large New Zealand corporations seem unable to understand that ethics and morality must apply in all aspects of our lives, to citizens both individual and corporate. Ethics and morality are not something that we discard at taxtime or when we find them inconvenient," said the Minister.