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Dunne regrets GPG response to new tax rules

Wednesday, 12 April 2006

Dunne regrets GPG response to new tax rules

Revenue Minister Peter Dunne said today he regrets the outburst by Tony Gibbs, the New Zealand director of the investment company GPG, following the Government's announcement of new tax rules for New Zealanders with investments overseas.

"I fear Mr Gibbs has responded too hastily. He paints a grim picture of thousands of ordinary New Zealanders being hit with a harsh tax on their investments that form part of their retirement savings.

"Nothing could be further from the truth. If you examine GPG's share register, it's apparent that a substantial number of its Kiwi shareholders hold GPG shares worth about $30,000.

"Under the new regime, those people won't be affected.

"Those who may be affected are high-worth individuals who have enjoyed very favourable tax advantages for years. Bringing in a fairer, more equitable tax system is not something the Government feels obliged to apologise for.

"Mr Gibbs raises the bogey that GPG may leave New Zealand, conveniently ignoring the fact that GPG is registered in London. How can you leave when you've already gone?

"I repeat: the new system is the result of extensive consultation, it aims to treat all taxpayers fairly and evenly even though it means the government will forgo $110 million-plus a year, and I believe we have come close to achieving that goal.

"If GPG and Mr Gibbs want to propose further changes, they are free to do so during the select committee's consideration of the relevant legislation," said Mr Dunne.

ENDS

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