New Zealand National party pays back owed GST

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The New Zealand National party has announced that it will pay back the GST (Goods and Services Tax) it owes to five different advertisers, all television stations, by buying advertising time for the several different charities. The advertisements will appear on the owed media outlets. They have decided with the current path is it would "unlawful" to pay back the GST normally.

The GST amounted to NZ$112,000.

National's original plan of getting a one time bill passed that it would allow them to pack the owed GST to the media outlets was ditched in favour of this new one. "With the prospect of legislation diminishing, it's time to accept that National cannot go down that path," Judy Kirk, president of the National party, said.

If National was to pay back the GST, they would be breaking the law by going over the electioneering cap set by the Broadcasting Act.

The owed media companies are TVNZ, TV3 and Sky Television. It also includes Sky's free-to-air channel, Prime.

Ms Kirk said: "We want to get some closure on the matter and have taken extensive legal advice on our options... We have secured clear advice that it would be unlawful to pay the five outstanding media creditors, and that it would be unlawful for them to accept payment. We do not wish to break the law, and nor do we wish to place our creditors in the position of breaking the law."

"...we will purchase the media advertising time directly from broadcasters and ask that they allocate it amongst the range of charities currently supported by each," Ms Kirk said.

National said that their error on not paying for the GST did not effect the outcome of the election, unlike the Labour party's overspending.

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This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.