“The Labour Government has abused its powers by sneaking through legislation that allows the Inland Revenue Commissioner to ask for any financial information – no matter how private or personal”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The legislation was passed last December; this particular clause was sneakily hidden in the annual bill that sets tax rates and was passed under urgency in just six days after the election.

“Labour is now using its sneaky law to get Inland Revenue, a government department, to collect information from wealthy people so it can campaign next election on an inheritance tax.

“The only test as to whether the Commissioner can ask for the information is does she think it’s necessary for giving advice on tax policy. In other words, she can ask for any information at all. That includes questions about individuals, financial assets and also details but also their spouse and children.

“Labour loves tax and hates success.

It has sent a compulsory questionnaire to people it considers “rich pricks” to gather information. It’s important to note these people have done nothing wrong and are not under any kind of investigation. They are having their privacy invaded so the Labour Party can work on its 2023 manifesto.

“The information collected will be released in June 2023 – just in time for Labour to use it to campaign on in the next election.

“If the questionnaire is not answered, the person could face a $50,000 fine.

“New Zealanders are 30 per cent poorer than our Australian cousins. We need to become wealthier as a country, so everyone can succeed, but time and again Labour focussed on dividing people and dividing wealth instead of uniting people to create it.

“While Labour is using this law to target those it considers “rich pricks” the law itself could be used on anybody. A future Government could decide to collect information on the spending habits of beneficiaries and release it three months before an election where it campaigned on sanctions for recipients of state largess.

“ACT will repeal this disgraceful law and return New Zealand to a free society.”

A copy of the questionnaire can be found here.