“About time,” said Libertarianz leader and former pledge card litigant Bernard Darnton today in response to news that Labour had handed $824,524 over to the Parliamentary Service.
“Of course, with the pledge card spending retrospectively legalised last year, there was no legal debt to be paid. The payment must therefore be a gift.”
Greens co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons agrees. When the Greens handed $87,000 over to the Parliamentary Service in February she said the payment was “a gift, not a debt.” 
Darnton added, “A gift of this magnitude must be subject to gift duty.” Using Inland Revenue’s gift duty guide (IR 194), Darnton calculated the gift duty Labour owes as just under $194,000.
“This is a mess of their own making. If they’d just admitted that they’d taken the money illegally and paid it back in the first place there would be no question of this extra charge but they refused to admit they did wrong and then went and changed the rules. This $194,000 is really an arrogance surcharge.
“I expect Labour to announce that they will take their tax obligations as seriously as they demand other, more productive, New Zealanders to.”
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