Lawyers major beneficiaries of Labour policy

Labour’s housing policy might win votes from fellow-xenophobes and the economically illiterate desperates who think banning a tiny number of people from purchasing property will make a difference to house prices.

But the only real beneficiaries of the policy will be lawyers:

Labour’s policy to restrict foreigners from purchasing a home will hit Kiwis in the pockets and will line lawyers’ wallets, ACT Leader John Banks said today.

On Radio New Zealand this morning, David Shearer confirmed that Labour’s policy would put the onus on conveyancing lawyers to determine whether those purchasing a home are New Zealand citizens or permanent residents and are buying the home for themselves with their own money

“Housing is already unaffordable without Labour’s added proposition of more red tape and higher lawyers’ fees,” Mr Banks said.

“Under Labour’s policy, when any New Zealander buys a house, a lawyer is going to have to establish whether or not they are a foreigner.

“As there is no list of foreigners handy, every purchaser will have to be questioned by their lawyer and will have to prove their citizenship.

“Labour also expects lawyers to prove that the purchaser will be the beneficiary of the purchase and is not purchasing the home on behalf of someone else. But how would they know? Lawyers only know what they’re told by the purchaser.

“Labour’s dopey ban on foreigners purchasing housing is going to cost every New Zealander through increased legal fees and more red tape.

“It is recent immigrants to New Zealand who will sadly come under the most scrutiny from this policy that is not actually going to do anything to solve the problem of housing affordability.

“Instead of focusing on this kind of dog-whistle claptrap, Labour should be doing something about the real cause of the housing crisis – the lack of land supply for residential development,” Mr Banks said.

The policy will generate more work for lawyers as people seek to circumvent the restrictions by, for example,  setting up companies registered here with resident directors.

One of Labour’s other polices, the capital gains tax, will also provide opportunities for lawyers as people seek to find loopholes.

There will no doubt be other new or increased taxes under a future LabourGreen government.

They too will provide extra work for lawyers from people seeking to minimise their liability just as tax increases under the 1999-2008 Labour governments did.

Labour in its early days aimed to govern for the workers. These days its policy provides a lot more gains for lawyers.

38 Responses to Lawyers major beneficiaries of Labour policy

  1. Quintin Hogg says:

    I am a Lawyer.

    I don’t mind the extra work, but I have never read or heard such tosh in my life.

    What Mr Shearer is proposing will be unenforceable and unmanageable for all.

  2. Cadwallader says:

    On another blog I posted this poser: Suppose I am an elderly NZer without a family. I decide to leave my home in NZ to a non-resident. Following my death would the Labour enforcers confiscate the home from the intended beneficiary of my will? How would they know whether the beneficiary/owner was a non-resident? Annual declarations from all NZ real property owners?
    This Labour idea doesn’t warrant the description “policy” as it is too small minded/tacky/unworkable/bigotted to be described as a policy.

  3. Martin says:

    I am amazed the lawyers dont know how to trace a trust. Im amazed you say it affects ony a tiny percent of the market
    Im amazed you call it xenophobic- theres no fear here its only rational policy which most of the rest of the world does.
    I will never read this blog again as first impression count and this is clearly poor cerebral material

  4. Martin says:

    Not confiscate but sell it yes. Oh so poor foreigners we really need them buying our homes, im so sad for them

  5. Martin says:

    Ok Lawyer
    How hard is it to look up a trust and find the owner, if you are so inept you cant then you just sign that you couldnt find out who the real owners are and if the owners dont want to prove it to you then they are dodgy and you should not sign.

    Idiot and thats not slander, you are

  6. Andrei says:

    I will never read this blog again as first impression count and this is clearly poor cerebral material

    Take a deep breath Martin – from what you have said we might conclude that you think that this Labour Party policy is a good policy and are now disconcerted to find that there are many of your compatriots who don’t agree.

    And now rather than engage with those with whom you disagree and try and come to an understanding of their point of view you choose to withdraw in a huff.

    Of course this is typical of how the Labour party and its supporters react in the 21st century and it has everything to do with why they are floundering in the polls and in everything else,

    It is called being out of touch

  7. Paranormal says:

    Now you’re showing you’re an idiot Martin.

    If the property is owned by a trust then the trustees that are registered as the owner may not be the actual beneficial owner.

    Then, if you have got the actual owners name, where is the register of scurrlious furriners to check against to ensure the owner is not one of them?

  8. Martin says:

    Paranormal
    The trust says who the benefactors are idiot, if for your out there dodgy ones that dont then get them to set it up so it does otherwise if it quacks its a duck and you cant sign as a lawyer that you know who the benefactors are then.

  9. Martin says:

    Customs knows if you are a resident or not. think woman, think

  10. Martin says:

    A tiny portion of the market- funny stuff.
    Perter thompson today said that 45% of auctions were going to aisans in Auckland.
    John kEy shouldnt be in South Korea, he supports the commies, the communists have won this country by stealth

  11. homepaddock says:

    A lot of Asians are New Zealanders by birth, citizenship or residency. You can’t tell by looking at people whether or not they’re foreigners.

  12. TraceyS says:

    Customs doesn’t deal with Trusts though does it? How many Trusts do you know that have passports?

    The problem is not working out whether an individual purchaser is a resident or not. It is working out who the individual benefactors of a Trust are the first place. As already pointed out, the trustees are not always the same people as the beneficiaries. And what about trusts that have a mix of overseas and NZ residents as beneficiaries?

    One practical way to address this problem would be to lump all overseas and ‘corporate’ purchasers together as one group and tell them they have to prove the benefactors of the purchase are (or are going to be) NZ residents. Such as seems to be the Hong Kong way:

    “A new property tax was introduced for overseas buyers in Hong Kong just before Christmas to cool home prices. Non-local and corporate buyers must pay a 15 per cent tax.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10874417

    That is effectively what would happen anyway. In obscure situations, beneficiaries of Trusts would have the onus put on them by their lawyers to prove residency. Lawyers are way too smart to take responsibility on behalf of their clients where there is uncertainty/risk. So Labour might as well say that everyone except NZ citizens/residents purchasing in their own name will have to provide proof of their rights to purchase.

  13. Cadwallader says:

    I think you mean beneficiaries.

  14. Cadwallader says:

    So Labour don’t care about a testator’s wishes? Delightful. This attitude reveals how little regard Labour has for private property rights. Oh dear.

  15. Cadwallader says:

    “The communists have won this country by stealth” yet earlier in this post you advocated a forced sale of an inherited property. I think you are terribly confused, perhaps idiotic?

  16. Martin says:

    Tracey, yes thats what i mean, prove you are entitled or you dont get it.

  17. Martin says:

    I aint Labour- ask them.
    lucky you dont live in a place with estate duties like US or Uk. Oh dear those poor poms and yanks you cry

  18. Martin says:

    When did i say i could?
    All i know is that 45% of Auckland arent asians and the communist banks in china are giving cheaper loans to asians than my mates can get.
    You must hate Aucklanders if you think the govt is doing a good job making us go up for a family home against all these Asian property speculators in Auckland unless you think 45 % of Auckland is actually asian?
    You must be so glad that so many of these high paying jobs moving to AUckland are paying rent to china banks and that the accommodation benefit payments are flowing back out too.

  19. Martin says:

    You must be confused to think you made a point, but you a better than kiwiblog so well done.
    My points being consistent all along if not nzer then you cant buy an existing house. This person you talk of could try for residency then we can see if we want them.

  20. TraceyS says:

    Well that would be mighty unpopular Martin. It could inconvenience a lot of people unnecessarily and add to their costs when changing properties. What if a Family Trust names beneficiaries as seven children from a blended family comprised of four being born (and living) overseas and three in NZ, eg. a divorced British mother who had her kids there came to NZ and married a divorced Kiwi father whose kids were born here? Would that Trust be allowed to trade property in NZ with a mix of NZ residents and non-residents as beneficiaries?

    I think it could be very unfair and unwieldy.

  21. Martin says:

    Hi tracey, i couldnt work out to reply under that, but it will be a lot cheaper than being outbid time and time again and as it should reduce price rises the longtern mortgage payments will have a lot knocked off.
    Yes if that trust has non nz citizens then yes it shouldnt be allowed too

  22. Martin says:

    POs Tracey i dont why getting a lawyer to check you are entitled willl add that much already especially if you are not dodgy so can show that straight away.
    How much it costs depends on how lazy or dodgy you are

  23. TraceyS says:

    How you feel about the extra time and cost might depend on where in the country you live. One of my family member’s Family Trust has seven beneficiaries. As you might be aware, family members are not always on happy terms and having to get each one to provide a copy of their passport or driver’s license could actually make trading the assets very difficult compared to how it is now for people from whom there is nothing to be gained from inconveniencing. It could even allow individual beneficiaries to have inappropriate control over the Trust’s activities (ie. they could prevent trading of the Trust’s asset(s) by withholding their proof). As many Trusts have a legal Trustee – the lawyers are bound to love the complexity!

  24. Cadwallader says:

    Fail. If the testator had left the non-resident a car or a piece of jewellery the Labour apology for a policy wouldn’t be relevant. The mere fact that it happens to be realty springs the envy guns of Labour. The forced sale which you have earlier advocated is by its nature a product of a totalitarian regime, it matters not whether the regime has germinated from communism or some other ideology, it remains ugly and brutish. This is what you champion.

  25. Martin says:

    Yes i suppose that true, but its impossible to do anything that wont cause a few difficulties to some people. My opinion is that its worth the benefit for other nzers who get along ok, or arent in trusts

  26. Martin says:

    Beware my jack boots

  27. Paranormal says:

    Martin you really have no idea do you. Try following Mark Twains advice. Failing that try breathing through your nose a little before bursting out in a rant that shows your ignorance.

  28. Cadwallader says:

    Well Martin has broken new ground for this dignified blog…a physical threat. This type of remark/threat is relatively commonplace at the Standard, but here? Well I never!!

  29. Martin says:

    Whats the standard?

  30. homepaddock says:

    The people who buy houses aren’t necessarily representative of the total population and 40 percent of Aucklanders were born overseas: http://parliamenttoday.co.nz/2013/07/questions-and-answers-july-30/

  31. Martin says:

    40% were born overseas but Lots of poms, South Africans on the shore, Australians and new polynesians in south auckland.

    Well glad you admit that those who arent buying houses arent representative of the population. The asians with their communist money are the ones buying up everyones homes.

  32. Martin says:

    meant to say those who are

  33. Martin says:

    Paranormal, cant say i know Mark Twain to trust his advice, all i know is you gave the answer of a defeated person- no facts just emotion

  34. homepaddock says:

    Martin @ 9:09 – so it’s just Asians to which you object, not foreigners in general?

    What if those Asians were born here or live here? In my experience many come to NZ with little and make money through hard work and good saving and investment.

    That people buying houses aren’t representative of the total population doesn’t mean that most or even many of them are foreigners.

  35. Martin says:

    nope, everyone incl aussies taking back the rental payments there and ticket scalping on nz homes.
    If those asians are accessing money cheaply where other nzers cant ie chinas communist banks and also corruption money trying to get out of china then yes i do have a problem.

    I never said it did mean they a all foreigners

  36. Viv K says:

    Hey Martin. The only good thing you have achieved by your commenting today is to make me appreciate the usual commenters here. Cheers to Andrei, Tracey, Para, JC and others I often debate with. After reading Martin’s incoherent ramblings, you guys don’t seem so bad after all.

  37. Paranormal says:

    Thank you Viv. And couldn’t agree with you more (amazing but true).

  38. Cadwallader says:

    A trifle late but: Well Said Viv!

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