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


Whakaari / White Island Eruption: Body recovery operation

The NZ Defence Force recovered the bodies of six people who tragically died in Monday’s eruption on Whakaari/White Island and will support efforts to recover the bodies of two others in the hope there is resolution for those families. .. More>>

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Welfare Vs Infrastructure Spending

If New Zealand has a pressing need to stimulate its flagging economy, it seems very weird that the government is choosing a $12 billion package of infrastructure spending – mainly on road and rail – that by definition, will take a very long time to deliver their stimulatory benefits ... More>>

New Reports: "Immediate Commitment To Doing Justice Differently"

Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and Te Tangi o te Manawanui: Recommendations for Reform from the Chief Victims Advisor. Both recommend a fresh approach to the way criminal justice has been approached... More>>

ALSO:

"Heart-Breaking And Confronting": Surgical Mesh Restorative Justice Report

Minister Genter: “People have talked about losing the life they had enjoyed before surgical mesh harmed them – the loss of a steady job, the ability to exercise, a loving relationship in some cases. Others described the chronic pain they experienced..." More>>

ALSO:

Law Foundation: Government Decryption Powers Must Respect Privacy

The power of government to order users and companies to decrypt encrypted data and devices needs stronger privacy protections and additional safeguards, according to a study published by researchers at the University of Waikato. More>>

Latest 'Discussion Doc': National On Healthcare

National has today released our eighth Discussion Document which focusses on health and outlines a range of policies which will enable more Kiwis to access high-quality healthcare, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

Select Committee Report: Combatting Foreign Election Interference

MPs have finally delivered their recommendations to combat foreign interference in elections in a long awaited and much delayed report. More>>

Mosque Attacks: Names Of Arresting Officers Released

Police are now in the position to name the two officers involved in the arrest of the alleged gunman responsible for the attacks on the Al Noor and Linwood Mosques on March 15. More>>

Big, Bold, Permanent Change Needed: Children's Commissioner On 2019 Child Poverty Monitor

“I want to see family incomes dramatically raised by increasing benefits and making the minimum wage a living wage. And the Government needs to move much faster at increasing the supply of social housing..." More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels