4 Nov 2013

Cook Islands pensioners vow to keep up pressure on tax

7:35 pm on 4 November 2013

Pensioners in the Cook Islands say they will keep up the pressure on the Cook Islands government not to have their New Zealand-paid pensions back taxed.

They have been protesting at having to pay back-dated tax amounting to about 3600 US dollars per person after a government decision earlier this year to enforce existing tax laws.

The Vice President of Grey Power, Dennis Tunui, says about 80 people marched again on Friday and presented their case to the Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna but they laughed when he told them he was feeling their pain.

He says the protests will continue.

"We are in our mid seventies, eighties, nineties. That's the ones they are hitting. We are telling them we can't handle this. We are prepared to be taxed like all tax should be. This is new, backdating on vulnerable people. It's not right."

Mr Tunui says Grey Power will continue to chip away around the Prime Minister's pedestal, and he says he is sure he will collapse on the issue.