Following the release of the so-called “Panama Papers,” the Prime Minister spent much of his post-cabinet press conference on Monday appearing very casual and non-plussed about any possible links between secret foreign trusts and New Zealand.
John Key said he was “relaxed” about the use of secret trusts saying, “many people use trusts for all manner of things.”
The Prime Minister went on to highlight the fact that many of his cabinet had some kind of trust but that, “didn’t mean they were in the Russian mafia or anything.”
Key went on to outline a number of things about the New Zealand tax system that he said “any idiot” would know. He gave the waiting media a helpful list.
- Tax: All New Zealanders pay tax. It’s like when you earn money on something you have to pay tax on it. Unless you don’t have to pay tax on it, which is the case for people who have a trust like this.
- It’s all pretty legal: I don’t need M&Ms suing me to know what is law and what isn’t. I worked in the money markets for years. I know exactly what I can and can’t get away with under current legislation.
- It’s all Labour’s fault: Except for the many thousands of laws we’ve made in the nearly decade we’ve been in power, these laws have been around since 1988, so it’s, like, all Labour’s fault.
- See number 3: I can’t reiterate enough, if National has had any success over the last 8 years, then it’s all down to things we’ve done for the brighter future of this great country. If we’ve had any short-comings, it’s because Labour were being dumb Labour, the dummies.
- Shut up: Just shut up, ok. Geeesh.
Mr. Key would not be drawn on whether he would be toughening up New Zealand tax legislation saying he thought it was robust like our majority in Whangarei.