25 Aug 2014

Cooks pensioners vow to act on tax arrears

7:55 am on 25 August 2014

Pensioners in the Cook Islands have vowed to protest on the first day of parliament to demand that taxes back-paid to the government are refunded immediately.

About 260 Cook Islanders recieve the New Zealand pension, and last year the government began taxing them for the first time, and ruled that they should pay two years worth of tax arrears.

Grey Power says after it protested against the move, the government later admitted it was wrong to ask for back-taxes and promised to reimburse the 66 pensioners who had paid.

Its vice-president, Dennis Tunui, says they have been waiting nine months for their refunds, and as soon as the new government is confirmed, they'll be marching on parliament.

"We're going to tell them to honour their promise, and then we're going to demand immediate payment. Because they've been giving money away, left right and centre to all the different events happening here, thousands of dollars, and here we were deprived."

Dennis Tunui says it doesn't matter what party will be the ruling party, because both parties have mistreated pensioners.