TV stations forced to pay GST owed by National

, posted: 23-Oct-2006 14:59

The election spending row in New Zealand is taking an absurd turn, with The Press reporting that broadcasters have to pay the Goods and Services Tax (GST) that's owed by the National Party.

National owes $112,000 in unpaid GST, and says it'll only pay if the law is changed... so that it can pay the GST without breaching the $900,000 spending cap. If it pays nevertheless, National will have broken the law and the party risks a stiff fine.

Meanwhile, TVNZ has had to pay $57,369 to the IRD, and CanWest, $16,011. Since National won't refund that money unless the law is changed, Labour has promised to oppose the legislation and you can't chase up illegal debts, it looks like the broadcasters are out of luck.

Something tells me that next election, media will be careful to ensure that any political advertising is paid for in a kosher manner.

Update There's an NZPA story on the Herald site about this.

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