Greens call for foreign trust disclosure in MPs Register of Pecuniary Interests

The Green Party is calling on the location of MPs’ trusts to be added to the Register of Pecuniary and Other Specified Interests.

The Green Party is calling on the location of MPs’ trusts to be added to the Register of Pecuniary and Other Specified Interests.

Currently the Register only states if a MP has a trust. The public are not able to tell if this is a foreign trust or a trust based in New Zealand. A change to the Register will require a change to Standing Orders, which are being reviewed later this year.

“New Zealanders need to have confidence that MPs are open and honest about their affairs, and that they’re paying their fair share of taxes like ordinary Kiwis are,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“We are calling on all other political parties to support a move to register where the MPs’ trusts are settled when the rules are reviewed in the Standing Orders later on this year.

“Dozens of MPs have trusts recorded in the Pecuniary Interests Register but what’s not known is whether they are registered in New Zealand or if they are foreign trusts. It is important the public knows because no New Zealand MP should be exploiting tax havens.

“The best way to deal with concerns about trusts and secrecy is to have more transparency. If they have nothing to hide, MPs should be willing to disclose where their trusts are held.

“By requiring MPs to declare the location of their trusts, it will act as a deterrent for current or future MPs to abuse tax haven loopholes to maximise their incomes.

“MPs are in the top 1% of money earners in New Zealand and it would be completely unacceptable if they were using foreign trusts in tax havens to avoid paying tax,” said Mr Shaw.

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