Taxation (Business Tax, Exchange of Information, and Remedial Matters) Bill - First reading
STUART SMITH: This is a great tax bill, but before I speak about that I would like to actually respond to some of the pious drivel that we have heard on the Panama Papers. As a conspiracy theory coming from New Zealand First—well, there are no surprises there, I expect, to anyone, but from the Greens?
Their mother party, or their mother organisation, Greenpeace, was actually implicated in the Panama Papers. It is a bit rich for them to come into this House and then act piously, as they do.
Eugenie Sage: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.
The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Lindsay Tisch): There is a point of order. [Interruption] Hang on—we will not have that, either. Eugenie Sage—point of order.
Eugenie Sage: The member has made a totally inaccurate statement. Greenpeace is not the mother organisation for the Green Party.
The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Lindsay Tisch): I take that point, and ask the member to focus just on facts. Stuart Smith.
Hon Michael Woodhouse: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. You are well aware of the Standing Orders and Speakers’ rulings around debating points. I would suggest that in the context of the comments that the member has made, that is indeed a debating point.
The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Lindsay Tisch): No. [Interruption] Order! We will not have any interjections when I am on my feet. The member will withdraw that comment and apologise for it.
Hon Clayton Cosgrove: I apologise and withdraw.
The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Lindsay Tisch): My ruling was not to do with the point that Stuart Smith made regarding the points in relation to Greenpeace; it was to do with a point about it being the mother, or the sister, or the overriding—I do not know what the word is—of the Green Party.
I did say to the member to stick to the facts. I did not rule it out of order. I did not ask him to withdraw and apologise, and I am asking him to continue. Stuart Smith.
STUART SMITH: Thank you, Mr Assistant Speaker. I think I will move on to the bill itself. One of the key things about the National Government’s management of the economy is how it has made businesses’ lives a lot easier with the way Government regulations, and the interface between Government and business, occur.
This is a fantastic bill—particularly, I think, with the accounting income method coming in, which will make things much easier for small businesses. Also, the use of money interest not being required on the first two instalments of provisional tax will be a great boon for businesses and enable them to manage their accounts much better.
We all know that small business is the backbone of New Zealand’s economy, and anything we can do to enable that is fantastic. I must say, I did quite enjoy the first minute of my speech, but thank you.