Thursday, September 26, 2013

Why are we investing in tax havens?

Tax havens are a global evil which aid money laundering and rob governments of revenue needed to pay for public services. So why is the New Zealand Superannuation Fund investing our money through them?

Parliamentary questions lodged by the Green Party have revealed that our publicly funded New Zealand Superannuation Fund has $1.6 billion (or seven percent) of its funds invested through investment vehicles located in tax havens like the Cayman Islands, Isle of Man, British Virgin Islands, and Mauritius.

“We should not be profiting or supporting an international system of tax avoidance through tax havens. It’s simply unethical and hurts regular tax payers, who have to pay more tax when large multinationals use tax havens to avoid paying their fair share of tax,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

Naturally, Bill English is comfortable with this. The man who saw nothing wrong with defrauding the taxpayer to pay for his house sees nothing wrong with the NZSF defrauding other taxpayers for profit. But if we want to stop multinationals cheating on their taxes, we need to do the same too. Anything else is hypocritical. The NZSF should not be investing through tax havens,and it should not be investing in companies that use them to dodge taxes. We should only be investing in companies that obey the law and pay their fair share. Anything else is hypocritical and wrong.