25 Oct 2013

NZ pensioners march in Cook Islands

2:31 pm on 25 October 2013

There have been angry scenes outside government offices in the Cook Island after a Grey Power march in Rarotonga over tax on their pensions.

The government wants to enforce existing tax law and is asking retirees to pay tax on their New Zealand superannuation going back two years.

Sally Round reports from Rarotonga.

"A small but vociferous crowd of seventy and eighty year olds marched to the Financial Secretary's offices with placards and banners. The Financial Secretary Richard Neves waited outside to receive the pensioners who handed back letters about complying with the law. Grey Power says the pensioners don't mind being taxed but they don't want it backdated as many can't afford the lump sum due. They also say the letters were scaring the vulnerable elderly over a law they say was buried some time ago. Mr Neves told the group the government has to administer the law and it was has been trying to alert people early about their tax obligations. He welcomed people to discuss their cases individually with the government."