‘Shocked and appalled’ by tax wipeout

Tuesday February 06, 2018 Published in Letters to the Editor
Finance minister Mark Brown, pictured in parliament with prime minister Henry Puna, is under fi re for wiping out millions of dollars in taxes owed by business owners and individuals. 18020524 Finance minister Mark Brown, pictured in parliament with prime minister Henry Puna, is under fi re for wiping out millions of dollars in taxes owed by business owners and individuals. 18020524

I was shocked and appalled to see that the tax amnesty announced by the government last year has now been broadened to include the actual tax amount owed by some careless, and in other cases unscrupulous, business owners to the tune of some $5 million in unpaid taxes.

 

Now I can understand and appreciate the idea of wanting to clear the books as far as MFEM/Inland Revenue is concerned, but equally I am staggered by the naivety shown here by the finance minister with his comments in the paper yesterday.

The problems here are fairly obvious. Firstly, he appears to be rewarding some people for their deceitfulness. Secondly, it is not clear who is benefiting from this sudden generosity and by how much.

But most importantly, it sends the worst possible signal to everyone else who has diligently and honestly paid their taxes over the years.

Others who scrambled in to meet the amnesty deadline and paid their outstanding taxes must be kicking themselves now for their belated effort. If they had waited a bit longer the whole lot would apparently have been written off.

The message from this government now seems to be, “Hey, don’t worry about it, we’ll write your taxes off for you – but don’t forget, it’s election year”.

With all the loose spending and ‘gimmes’ with public money, it now seems clear we are heading rapidly back to the bad old days of CIP politics, with treating and favouritism.

The minister really needs to stop and think very carefully about what he is doing with this latest announcement. If it is to go ahead, MFEM should release the names of all the very large-tax owing businesses, so we can all see who got such lucky treatment.

Yours in disgust,

            Taropatch Joe

            (Name and address supplied)

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