Those of us of a centre right disposition, like myself, who believe in less state interference in our lives, lower taxes and the widest possible extension of individual freedom of choice have become increasingly dismayed with the Key government as it lurches ever more to the left with its love of state control of everything.
This latest Stalinist proposal has, like too much legislation, been shoved in at the last moment in the hope of hiding it from public scrutiny. Even the former head of policy at the Inland Revenue is aghast at the brazen audacity of this latest move to undermine the rule of law, as is Labour.
Proposed law the biggest threat to taxpayers’ rights in a generation
The Government has just introduced a last minute addition to a tax bill before Parliament which, if implemented, would give the Government the power to amend tax laws without any consultation or parliamentary scrutiny.
The proposed amendment is to the Tax Administration Act, which sets out important taxpayer rights, including secrecy, and the appeals process when the IRD have treated a taxpayer unfairly. The amendment would grant the Minister of Revenue power to make changes to the Act by regulation, avoiding Parliamentary and public scrutiny. Worse, according to advice we have seen, prepared by the IRD, the proposed law would even allow a Minister to change tax law with retrospective effect!
Tax expert, Robin Oliver, who is incidentally a former head of policy at Inland Revenue, says the proposal is akin to the regulatory powers under the infamous Economic Stabilisation Act 1948. Rob Muldoon used to say he could do anything under the regulatory powers of that Act provided he could hang his hat on economic stabilisation - and he did.
The proposal seems to allow a government to do anything tax-wise provided it can hang its hat on "Inland Revenue's business transformation programme".
We have called on the Minister to withdraw the proposal and have been backed by Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Stuart Nash and Newstalk ZB's Barry Soper.
Proper scrutiny of tax laws is of utmost importance in a democratic society. We cannot think of another proposal in the last 30 years that is such a threat to fundamental common law principles and New Zealanders' taxpayers rights.
Do you agree with us that tax laws shouldn’t be amended behind closed doors?
If so, will you join us in chipping in a few dollars so we can get a legal opinion on the constitutionality of this proposed law? We are told it will cost us $11,600 to get a legal opinion on the proposed law change, its constitutional respectability and consistency with the rule of law, and its departure from New Zealand's historical protection from abuses of power. Once this opinion hits the news, and we launch our campaign to expose what the proposed change means, we can put the Government under tremendous pressure top back off its back-door proposal.
Join with us and chip in with a donation so that this threat to taxpayers’ rights doesn’t go unnoticed.
If it continues alienating its natural voters with race based privilege, undermining the rule of law, and imposing draconian tax laws then National will find it is no longer able to form a government without the help of NZ First. It will have only itself to blame.