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Labour calls on Government to release FATCA agreement

David

CLARK

Revenue Spokesperson
27 May 2014 MEDIA STATEMENT

Labour calls on Government to release FATCA agreement

Revenue Minister Todd McClay must release the text of the Inter-Governmental Agreement which affects tens of thousands of Kiwis who were born or have worked in the United States, Labour’s Revenue spokesperson David Clark says.

National is about to introduce legislation to ratify an agreement between the US and New Zealand which requires our Government to hand over details of Kiwis’ bank accounts. This change is in line with the American FATCA legislation which enables the US to gather information about its citizens’ offshore income.

“Labour is concerned Parliament is being asked to pass this legislation empowering an agreement that has not been seen,” David Clark says.

“Todd McClay must table the final text of the Inter-Governmental Agreement in Parliament.

“The Government is putting the cart before the horse. It is asking Parliament to pass legislation that will come into effect in July but MPs haven’t seen the substance of that agreement.

“The Government’s shifty process removes the checks and balances that come with Parliamentary scrutiny which is an important part of democracy.

“Labour members challenged the Government in select committee to assure Kiwis the agreement is reciprocal. It refused.

“It is frightening National is willing to put the privacy of law abiding Kiwi citizens at risk without requiring a two-way agreement.

“The Government left its negotiation run too late. It appears to have backed itself into a corner. It must now pass this law or the US will place unsustainable penalties on the New Zealand banking system.

“Labour is committed to reducing tax avoidance and a reciprocal agreement would give the Government another tool,” David Clark says.

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