Govt ‘flops backwards’ over tax fiasco

Friday January 10, 2014 Written by Published in Tropical Chronicles
Grey Power gathered to protest tax on their NZ-paid pensions in November. 13110133 Grey Power gathered to protest tax on their NZ-paid pensions in November. 13110133

Let’s hope 2014 is an exciting one, but I and the Democratic Party promise a lot to happen as we go through.

We will be taking this Prime Minister Henry Puna through the hoops and embarrass the Cook Islands Party over a growing list of terrible decisions.

Indeed, we expect them to retaliate and fight back, using tax payers’ money to fund their campaign.

I think they have already, when I listened to their talk back radio show yesterday.

Why was I not surprised? When in typical Puna, Deputy Prime Minister Teariki Heather and Finance Minister Mark Brown fashion they, in total disrespect of the funeral of a respected Rarotonga woman, were on radio plugging their propaganda.

They could at least wait until the woman’s family had retreated to the shades of their home. These are signs of absolute desperation to vindicate dreadful governance.

I heard on radio the PM and the DPM ducking for cover – blaming the tax officials for acting alone, unilaterally from Cabinet.

Well, how many times does the PM have to be told of the inexcusable raiding? I can tell you that many submissions either orally or by television and news print should have prompted him and his government to nip this in the bud.

The first case, just a few days before Christmas, was spread out in the public arena: No, no, the PM did not want to hear about it and neither did the Minister of Finance. They in fact responded negatively to people seeking help from them.

Papa Teariki Simiona was also on television appealing for “compassion” for the raiding of his wife’s account but only got a stern face from Henry and co.

Guess who forced them to now admit that it was a grave mistake. Yes, it was my friend, the neglected DPM designate Teina Bishop, who first of all “suspended” himself from Cabinet and secondly went to Cabinet Tuesday this week to demand those monies raided and extracted from the accounts of those unfortunate few be reimbursed. That’s the truth of the matter. They did not want to do it but they were forced to, so if the PM and DPM say anything else, they are lying. I heard both of them on radio and despite the gloss over with religious and Christian rhetoric, it is clear that their hands have been twisted and there is agony all over their faces and they have been made to eat humble pie. That’s what you get when you don’t respect people’s power or in this instance, Grey Power. What a flip and a flop over backwards by the government; it’s nothing more than a further sign of unstructured and messy governance.

I expected the government to be on the offensive early in 2014. Someone said they have already been, but guess what? The Democratic Party is many steps ahead of them. As I said earlier we will be raising the bar of scrutiny and proposing better alternatives.

Nor was I surprised when that untrustworthy, rogue MP Norman George blasted on the public page in early 2014 to push his own barrow of self adulation. His swipe at the demos in his column last week was so grievously slurry that one can legitimately accuse him of lying and misleading the public. I have now vindicated my stand that I will never have him in the Democratic Party. In our last parliament sitting, our team gave him support for his call for the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry into Colagate. I made a passionate plea in support and he, the be-smirched Norman praised my speech and the opposition support on radio. Then he goes and stabs all of us in the back by accusing my team on being complacent in parliament. Well, actually he stabbed us in the back twice recently. The first was when he turned around and supported government’s Income Tax Amendment Bill 2013 in the last parliament sitting we had and he ran out so he won’t vote. We will soon cast him in plaster as a hoax.

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