Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Peters’ Aim ‘Headlines at the Taxpayers’ Expense

Rt Hon Sir William Birch
Minister of Revenue

23 August 1999
For Immediate Release

Peters’ Main Aim ‘Headlines at the Taxpayers’ Expense’

Making headlines at the taxpayer’s expense was Winton Peters’ primary interest in the wine box affair, Sir William Birch, Minister of Finance and Minister of Revenue, said tonight.

“His allegations have cost the taxpayer $12m during the two-year Commission of Inquiry plus a further $4 million in extra legal fees outside the inquiry, plus the fees of Mr Peters’ solicitor which were also substantially funded by the taxpayer.

“IRD told the Commission that the department had assessed eight wine-box corporates as owing more than $83 million in tax.

“But all of that tax would have been assessed in any case, without the expense of a Commission of Inquiry. Not one of Mr Peters’ allegations has been proved. We have not gained one extra cent for the revenue by pursuing this case so far.

“In pursuit of an alleged $2 million debt to the taxpayer, Mr Peters has already spent $16 million, and now he wants to spend still more. With that kind of fiscal arithmetic, taxpayers should be thankful he’s not Treasurer any more,” he said.

The High Court said clearly that its declarations, in the words of the judgement, “are not, and are not intended to suggest, findings by this Court that there has been fraud”. It was important not to lose sight of that statement, he said.

“The High court decision now requires a response from the IRD. I am advised by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue that his department is seeking legal advice from the Crown Law Office on its options.

“That includes whether to appeal, to clarify the law further, or whether the decision of the High Court simply extends the powers of the Commissioner in respect to cases like Magnum,” Sir William said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Environment Aotearoa 2019: Report Warns Environment In Serious Trouble

The report is jointly produced by the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand, and is a follow on from the last report in 2015.

The report says the way New Zealanders live and make a living is having a serious impact on the environment, and the benefits New Zealanders get from being in nature, though not measured or quantified, could be lost. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Scrapping The Capital Gains Tax

As PM Jacinda Arden said yesterday, there was no point in Labour bringing a proposal into the House that it didn’t have the votes to get passed. Looking back, maybe she always felt this outcome to be inevitable... More>>


Welfare: Access To Hardship Grants Hits Record High

Figures from the Ministry of Social Development for the March 2019 Quarter showed that hardship assistance grants increased by $48 million in the past year... They also showed the emergency housing grants went from $6.6m to $23m, and there were 70,000 extra requests for assistance for food. More>>


City Rail Link: Billion Dollar Cost Rise (And Preferred Bidder)

The revised cost envelope for completing the entire Auckland City Rail Link project now totals $4.419 billion. The revised cost has yet to be endorsed by the project’s sponsors (the Crown and Auckland Council). More>>


Meth Scare: Debt Write-Off For HNZ Meth Testing Evictions

People living in Housing New Zealand (HNZ) properties who were wrongly evicted because of flawed methamphetamine contamination policies will have their related debts with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) written off. More>>


RNZ Report: Fears Grow For NZ Nurse Kidnapped In Syria

A New Zealand nurse working for the Red Cross was captured by Islamic State (IS) in Syria more than five years ago, and there are now public pleas for any information that could help bring her home. More>>


Streets Blocked In London: Climate 'Extinction Rebellion' Reaches Aotearoa

Across the world, thousands of people are taking part in a rebellion to avert climate, ecological and human catastrophe. This begins in Aotearoa New Zealand today. More>>





InfoPages News Channels