23 October 2014
The Turkish government today moved to clamp down on the influx of economic migrants from New Zealand.
In a statement today, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said “Turkey has had enough of New Zealanders coming here to take advantage of our liberal tax regime. What started as a trickle of economic migrants when New Zealand introduced a Capital Gains Tax last year has become a tsunami”.
Turkey remains the only OECD nation that does not have a tax on capital gains, following New Zealand and Switzerland introducing capital gains taxes last year.
The Turkish Prime Minister said “We cannot afford to have these people coming here from New Zealand pretending to be refugees, when they are really economic migrants. Many have destroyed their passports on the aircraft, so we cannot check thoroughly into their backgrounds. But immigration interviews inevitably reveal that while they may bring considerable wealth with them, they have no interest in contributing to the Turkish economy or society. Their only interest is personal self-aggrandisement. They are bludgers on our nation, and we do not want them here.
Dr Russel Norman, Associate Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister in New Zealand’s Green-Labour coalition government, has today formally apologised to the Turkish government for the difficulties New Zealand tax policy has caused Turkey.
“Ever since the neo-liberal reforms Sir Roger Douglas implemented in the 1980s, we have had an underclass of bludgers in New Zealand,” Dr Norman said. They are people with immense wealth, but who refuse to contribute to New Zealand’s economic well-being. I am truly sorry that what was our problem has now become a problem for Turkey.”
Dr Norman said that New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Kennedy Graham, would be discussing with his Turkish counterpart how best to address the issue. “But, frankly, we don’t want these bludgers back unless they are prepared to contribute to New Zealand,” Dr Norman said.