Labour announced the membership of its Tax Working Group just before Xmas. It’s the favourite time of year for governments to make announcements when they want to avoid normal public scrutiny.
A closer look tells us why.
It is stacked 8 to 2 with corporate representatives. Here they are:
Craig Elliffe – 14 years tax partner with KPMG and 9 years tax partner at Chapman Tripp
Joanne Hodge – former tax partner at Bell Gully
Kirk Hope – formerly CEO of New Zealand Bankers’ Association
Geof Nightingale – partner at PWC New Zealand
Robin Oliver – works for Oliver Shaw – private tax consultancy – previous worked for NZ Treasury
Michelle Redington – 13 years at PWC, now Head of Group Taxation and Insurance at Air New Zealand
Nick Malarao – senior partner and tax advisor at Meredith Connell
Hinerangi Raumati – Chairwoman of Taranaki’s biggest Maori agri-business.
Marjan Van Den Belt – Assistant Vice Chancellor (Sustainability) at Victoria University. Previously “running her own research consultancy on developing (computer-aided) decision support for public private partnerships in the USA”
Bill Rosenberg – CTU economist
This is the group Labour has set up to look at the “structure, fairness and balance” of New Zealand’s tax system.
Give us a break.
Most of these people spend their working days earning fat salaries advising wealthy corporates and rich listers how to minimise their taxes.
And it’s all chaired by our own neo-liberal former Finance Minister Michael Cullen.
What a farce!