Thursday, December 03, 2020


Parliament passed the government's new top tax rate this morning. But as expected, National and ACT objected to it. And they particularly objected to the IRD's new power - not the one subject of a section 7 report by the Attorney-General - to require new information from trusts. So what did they say?

ACT leader David Seymour took issue with the Commissioner of Inland Revenue's expanded new powers to look into people's finances. He said the law change should have gone through a select committee process given the implications.


National MP Nicola Willis took a similar view.

The problem here is that they both have a clear conflict of interest on this issue. Looking at Parliament's Register of Pecuniary and Other Specified Interests shows that David Seymour has three trusts, while Willis has one. David Parker, who decided against advice not to raise the trust rate to eliminate evasion, also has one. In fact the only person in this debate without a steaming conflict of interest is Chloe Swarbrick. Meanwhile, those MPs with trusts who are objecting to basic measures to enforce the tax system and prevent cheating are inviting an obvious question: what are they trying to hide?