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Michael Cullen ducks questions on Transpower deal

John Key MP National Party Finance Spokesman

7 June 2005

Michael Cullen ducks questions on Transpower deal

National Party Finance spokesman John Key is calling on Michael Cullen to give the public some answers on a controversial tax deal done by Transpower.

"His inability to answer questions about this deal in Parliament today is a shocking revelation," says Mr Key.

Parliament's Speaker today also refused a National Party request for an urgent debate on the issue today.

"Surely, the Finance Minister should have been able to tell us whether Kiwi banks or finance companies were involved in an arrangement that would have allowed them to escape New Zealand tax obligations.

"If this turns out to be true, it would appear to be a clear breach of the 'no surprises' policy that SOEs are required to work under.

"The Finance Minister shouldn't have to ask the SOE for information after the fact - surely he should have sought details before the deal went ahead.

"Has the overworked and under stress Dr Cullen dropped the ball again?

"There is no reason for him to hide behind the veil of commercial sensitivity.

"The allegations being made in relation to the Transpower agreement are serious. Has an SOE helped Kiwi-based banks or financial institutions avoid paying tax in New Zealand?

"Has this Government-owned entity deprived our country of legitimate tax revenue?

"This is a bad look for Dr Cullen, who is making no apologies for his rampant overtaxation of hard working Kiwis during the past six years," says Mr Key.


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