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Cullen: Key wrong on offshore tax changes

9 January 2006

Cullen: Key wrong on offshore tax changes

Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today opposition finance spokesman John Key is again showing his true colours as a friend of wealthy investors.

The government is reviewing the tax regime that applies to portfolio investment offshore.

"This government has been listening to concerns raised by the investment community and is consulting on a modified regime," said Dr Cullen.

"John Key is suggesting we don’t tax the earnings of New Zealanders investing offshore at all because it's too hard.

"This is illogical and would only serve to encourage investment offshore to the detriment of investment in New Zealand," said Dr Cullen. "This would cost New Zealand taxpayers dearly and deprive local businesses of much needed domestic savings."

"John Key's suggestion would primarily benefit wealthy individuals – his true friends," said Dr Cullen.

"We are aiming for a simpler regime which doesn't encourage offshore investment by New Zealanders. It is staggering that John Key doesn't believe that is desirable," Dr Cullen concluded.

The government expects to make announcements in March with changes incorporated in a tax bill to be introduced in May, with application from 1 April 2007.

ENDS

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