11 Jul 2011

Proposed interest tax creates debate in Cook Islands

6:39 am on 11 July 2011

A proposed 15 percent tax on interest is being debated in the Cook Islands parliament.

The tax has yet to be formally adopted by government but is generating discussion among Cook Islanders and those in power.

Last week Atiu MP Norman George opened parliament's question and answer session by asking finance minister Mark Brown to reconsider his proposal to implement a withholding tax.

He cited a huge public outcry about the taxing of 15 percent of all interest earned in Cook Islands bank accounts.

But Mr Brown welcomed the opportunity to explain the tax which he says has been forced on the government as a last ditch effort to cover over-expenditure in the last financial year.