Monday, April 11, 2016

Fox to review henhouse

Last week we were reminded that New Zealand is a tax haven. The National Party's response was initially bellicose, saying that they see no need to be a good global citizen. But I guess their polls have told them that New Zealanders disagree, because now they're promising a review by an "independent" tax expert:

The government is likely to appoint an independent expert to review New Zealand's foreign trust laws, says Prime Minister John Key.


Last week Mr Key rejected any suggestion New Zealand was a tax haven, saying New Zealand had "full disclosure of information."

But in an apparent backdown Mr Key told RNZ's Morning Report he would take a proposal for a review to Cabinet today.

"It's highly likely, I think, that the government will ask an expert in this area to undertake an independent review - just for good order.

A review is of course what you do when you don't want to do anything. It allows the government to respond to queries about tax cheating by saying "we're having a review" and punting the issue off the headlines. So, its not action, but an excuse for inaction.

Plus of course there are no "independent" experts. Expert tax lawyers all work for tax-cheats, or want to, if they currently work for a government revenue collection body. So, Key will be getting a fox to review his henhouse. And we all know what the result of that will be.