Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Increase the Tax on Profiteering Aussie Banks


Increase the Tax on Profiteering Aussie Banks


News that the Big Five Australian-owned banks made a combined NZ profit of $3 billion in 2011 means only one thing – they’re making too much money out of us. They must be laughing all the way to the bank. Hang on, they are the bank.

These banks always make a big PR fuss about how much they contribute to the NZ community. But these are exactly the same banks who, in December 2009, settled out of court with IRD for attempting to dodge payment of an astonishing $2.2 billion of taxes that, between them, they avoided via deliberately complicated structured financial transactions. And that out of court settlement was for 20% less than what IRD was seeking – plus they would have had to pay costs if they’d persisted in going to court and losing (two of them had already lost in court before they all decided to throw in the towel).

So that's how they rode out the recession, by not paying nuisance costs such as taxes. Not an option for the rest of us mugs who have to pay our taxes, whether we like it or not. This was the biggest tax avoidance case in New Zealand’s history – and it happened at the same time as the deposits in those Australian-owned banks were guaranteed by New Zealand taxpayers (who got no say in the governance of those banks).

As a result they paid 47% more tax in 2011 than they did in 2010. But they still sucked $3 billion out of the country. These super profits need to be taxed more. This comes at a time when the Government is wringing its hands about how is it going to finance NZ’s recovery from the global financial crisis? Its’ only ideas are to borrow more; sell public assets; slash the State sector and public services; and bash beneficiaries. Here’s an idea – instead of grinding the faces of the poor to pay for a global crisis caused by the crimes of transnational banks, it should raise the tax on the transnational banks that are creaming it here in this country.

Specifically the Government is asking loaded questions about how will Christchurch’s multibillion dollar post-earthquake recovery be financed? There are less than subtle hints about flogging off Christchurch’s large and very valuable portfolio of publicly-owned assets. Wrestling back some of the ill-gotten gains of the big foreign banks is a much more palatable alternative. Make the rich pay.

That would be poetic justice in the case of at least one of those Aussie banks. One of the reasons why Westpac was selected as one of the eight finalists for the 2011 Roger Award* for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand was because, shamefully, it pressured its Christchurch tellers to meet normal sales targets by pushing loans and insurance products onto financially stricken Christchurch customers after the earthquakes, adopting a “business as usual” policy. That bank can definitely afford to pay more tax. It paid its’ Chief Executive Officer $5.8 million and $5.4 million respectively, over the past two years, making him the highest paid CEO in NZ.

Squeeze them until it hurts. They’ve been bleeding NZ dry for too long


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>

 

Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election