Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 


Lyndon Hood: Caught With Your Panamas Down

Panama's in Pajamas

Satire by Lyndon Hood

New Zealand's international trust regime has been under the spotlight with the release of the 'Panama Papers'. The often murky and suspicious offshore finance industry appears to regard New Zealand highly.

Scoop registered a special shell company in order to facilitate the free exchange of views with a government expert on the subject.

***

Scoop: Hello there.

Person in charge of Policy Formation on Foreign Things: Hi.

S: Mister…?

PPFFT: Yes.

S: Can I ask your name?

P: You certainly can.

S: Well, then.

P: You usually don't though. In practice.

S: Why not?

P: I might not want to tell you. Or it might be inconvenient for you to know, I suppose. I have to know my name though, so that's all right. It's called disclosure. All above board.

S: Well I have to assume it is. Basically I'm taking this on…

P: Trust.

S: … trust.

P: Yes, that's the exact word. It's a completely transparent disclosure regime.

S: Transparent like a window?

P: Or air. Can't see it at all.

S: So is New Zealand a tax haven?

P: No definitely not. Our tax regime is very respected internationally.

S: And not just by the international people using us as a tax haven?

P: We're not a tax haven.

S: …using us like a tax haven? I mean, people can put their money here and not pay tax.

P: You've got it.

S: Apart from tax avoidance and crime, why do people need these foreign trusts anyway?

P: Well imagine you were living under a totalitarian regime and you wanted to send your money to a better life in the free world. Or if your town was being attacked and you didn't want your money cowering under the bed while bombs fell on your roof. It's perfectly in line with international convention: if money shows up seeking sanctuary, you can't just send money back to face political persecution.

S: That's people. Refugees.

P: What?

S: You're talking about the refugee convention.

P: What did I say?

S: Money.

P: Oh, did I? No you're right, I meant to say money. I mean, people. Anyway, the point is, there's a lot of instability in the world at the moment and huge amounts of displaced money…

S: People.

P: … Yes, I suppose … and it's our duty to take in as much of it…

S: Of them.

P: … Sorry, right … As we can. "Give me your currency, your wealth, your fiscal masses yearning to be tax-free." "What is the most important thing in the world? …"

S: I'll stop you there. So can I take it the government will be doubling the refugee quota?

P: Depends, is there any money in it?

S: Well, once they're settled refugees pay taxes like everyone else.

P: Well, not everyone else.

S: Sorry: like all the people who aren't rich enough to hire tax lawyers.

P: This refugee thing's got potential, though. Have your people talk to my people.

S: Who are your people?

P: Tax lawyers. Who are yours?

S: Just people.

P: They probably can't afford to talk to tax lawyers, then. Well that's a shame.

S: We're grateful for your time.

P: So you should be, I usually get $300 an hour.

********

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

HiveMind Public Engagement Report: NZers Want Stronger Action On Sugar

Over December 2016 and January 2017, Scoop hosted a trial community engagement exercise on the issue of Sugar and Public Health on our new HiveMind platform... Most promising was the fact that there was much agreement from across a wide range of participants from different backgrounds and perspectives on potential solutions to some of the accepted public health challenges we face around sugar. More>>

ALSO:

Branko Marcetic: Land Of The Long White Egalitarian Myth

New Zealand has earned its reputation. Its quality of life is consistently ranked among the highest in the world... New Zealanders themselves report extreme satisfaction with their lives. All of these accolades cover up another truth, however: New Zealand hasn’t been a social-democratic paradise for a long time now. More>>

Alastair Thompson: The Role Of A Free Press In Defending & Fostering Democracy

The arrival of Trump is a wake-up call – not just to the Anglosphere and the developed world - but to our entire planet: Democracy, it turns out, is much more fragile than we thought. More>>

OPENING THE ELECTION:

Related:

Lyndon Hood Satire: In Which My Computer Develops A Bug

When I arrived at the office this morning I found a message typed on my computer. It was poorly capitalised and punctuated – as if it had, for example, been written by a very determined medium-sized insect flinging itself against the keys one by one... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news