McCarten accepting bets on his death

Do I hear five years?

Prominent unionist and left-wing agitator Matt McCarten is taking offers on his life insurance policy in an attempt to settle a $150,000 tax debt.

The cancer-striken Unite union boss said the policy had a face value of $230,000 and prompt payout was highly likely following a terminal diagnosis.

“I was given odds last year, in September, of a 0.8% chance of survival,” he told the National Business Review of the cancer that has spread to his liver.

“If anyone wants to buy the policy I’m open to offers. They can invest in my death, bet on it, and give the tax department the money that I owe them,” he said.

Mr McCarten said he was happy to provide potential bidders with access to his medical records “if they want to make it a calculated gamble”.

The policy came to light in the most recent liquidators’ report for Unite Support Services, a company controlled by Mr McCarten put into liquidation by the IRD last year.

The most recent report for Unite Support Services notes $152,801 is owed, mostly in unpaid tax, and the only potential assets included a now-terminated lease and the life insurance policy held with Sovereign.

Alastair Stewart, a spokesman for liquidator the Insolvency and Trustee Service, said the failed company had been paying the premiums on the policy but as it was under Mr McCarten’s name they were unable to claim it.

Mr Stewart said the premium payments made by the company were being investigated and may be subject to a demand being made against Mr McCarten.

Contacted by NBR, Mr McCarten sought to pre-empt the investigation and said the policy was always intended to settle the company’s debts but he was unaware a market existed for life insurance policies.

“There’s two certainties in life – taxes and death – and I thought I had to die first before I could fix my finances up,” the Herald on Sunday columnist said.

Mr McCarten said the policy was taken out before his cancer diagnosis and its existence was part of the reason he allowed tax debts to mount. He accepted the criticism lobbed his way over United Support Services unpaid debt and described the situation as “embarrassing”.

Parties interested in purchasing the policy should contact Mr McCarten who is seeking a quick sale. “I’m aware that I’m running against the clock and I’m determined not to die in debt,” he said.


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39 Comments & Questions

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Funny how socialists never seem to be able to pay there own taxes and expect everyone else to pay for their utopia

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True.

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Funny how wingnuts never seem to be able to spell 'their.'

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Harsh.

I was wondering what the dividing line is between someone with strong beliefs and an "agitator".

Paul Holmes could be said to have got more people agitated in the last couple of weeks.

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Why doesn't he donate this to the Maritime Union and their struggle against the oppressive management at the Ports of Auckland that seeks to contract out the labour force. Surely they could use the win fall of a fallen comrade to assist their PR efforts.

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I don't see that Mr McCarten is expecting anyone else to pay these debts.

As he says, the policy is an asset he can sell and that's what he is trying to do.

Talk about kick a man when he is down.

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Get real the policy by all accounts should have lapsed and put into the trash bin, who has been paying the premiums to kep it going I bet my last dollar it was not McCarten.

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He could donate the whole insurance policy to his beloved state.

They get the back-taxes paid and he gets peace of mind knowing some or another 'good cause' of his will get funded.

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I would pay $150k to get rid of him

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Matt is dead keen to sink the boot into all the rampant capitalists in the country tax wise to support his lazy cronies but when it is time to make sure his own tax liabilities are paid............

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Tell him to talk to the Insurance Company, if he has less than 12 months to live they should pay him out the full amount under a "Terminal Illness" benefit

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This is the best comment - constructive and instructive. Whatever we may think of McCarten's politics, as fellow travelers on this disease ridden planet, facing death like he is doing can not be pleasant, in any circumstance. Let's show some compassion...

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Tell me Father, which parish are you with?

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You must be the devil in disguise...At least Mr McCarten has provision to pay his creditors; not like these bankers that are inflicting pain on us all..

You must have your head in the clouds, or have blinkers on...

If I was the insurance company, I'd be doing a deal with him.A big part of business is public relations and Mr McCarten exposure could do just that..

This will also let Mr McCarten die gracefully, especially when life is cut short.

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Crocodile tears from a failed socialist renta-thug!

$150,000 in unpaid taxes don’t just happen overnight – clearly this renta-thug has been deliberately stiffing the country for years out of monies he should have paid at the time – instead of trying to be #1 bully boy for the Unions and the Labour Party!

Lay down with dogs – and ya get fleas. Work for a parasitic union as the #1 renta-thug – and cancer is the just deserts. I only hope the cancer works quickly so this agitator doesn’t cost NZ too much more.

Sympathy for him? Yes – after he’s paid his share to support NZ like the propaganda and rhetoric he so spouts when trying to stir up and create an issue somewhere.

…and I thought it would be AIDS not cancer sorting the unions – but either way, it’s gotta be a win-win for NZ.

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The policy is an asset and given he wants to use the funds to settle liabilities and not on a huge party before he passes, he has to be commended.

There maynot be a much of a market for this in NZ but I understand there is in the US. However, I am sure the insurance company would be more than willing to pay for the policy to be cancelled, if the right price was agreed. It is there job to price this sort of stuff so if they can pay (say $180k) to cancel a $230k contingent liability which is likely to be called within the next year(?), then I am sure they would do it.

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I would have thought the simple solution would be to assign the policy to the company / liquidator (who seems to be the rightful owner in any event) so that it is his call as to how he chooses to realise the asset. Seems that McCarten may be angling for some sympathy and / or donations to ease his final days, assuming of course his 0.8% chance of survival fails to eventuate.

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Bloody hypocite. He likes nothing more than insisting successful people pay more - yet by his actions he thinks failures needn't bother coughing up.

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If you're thinking of bidding for this policy it may pay to seek legal advice first.
If you pay less than the amount IRD is owed it could be IRD could claim the difference from you - "conspiring to defraud HM revenue...".
Don't think Matt could indemnify you either.
NBR might like to check this out...

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What a nasty nasty group of people commenting today. Let the man settle his debts - regardless of how you view him there is no value in demeaning him. I agree with an earely posting - what is the difference between an agitator and someone with strong beliefs? for my money put Mr Holmes into the agitator camp.

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There by the grace of God go I. As one who has tangled with Matt over the years I can only wish him a peaceful end. We never know when it may be us who walks in the foot steps of those we criticise.
Easy to judge Much mucg harder to forgive and understand.

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My view is that the policy should stand as it is and then on his estate the IRD can be paid in full.

Why does Matt need the money earlier? The IRD will be happy to wait knowing this policy is there.

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What an awful thread.

You being a Statist, you're my enemy, Matt: because I just want to be a free man and don't buy into the bloodied alter of your social(ist) democracy based on needs, <a href="http://www.solopassion.com/node/8946"> with it's awful price</a>, and in which the pursuit of happiness has been snuffed out.

But no matter how anathema your philosophy is to me, I respect a man who lives fighting for his beliefs. I'll resist your ideas to the ends of the Earth, yet give you a grudging respect for your energy. Now, for what's it's worth, put your mind to mindfulness (Latta), living in the beauty of the moment here on earth as long as you can. Don't feel bound by any weight you'd rather cast off. And if you're passing through Geraldine, I'll buy you a beer (I'll be drinking wine though, the beer goes straight through the system these days).

Um, your tax: I'll pay mine because I have to, the consequences for my family and I are so dire if I don't under the brutal fist of State. Damned if I'll pay anyone else's, though, and perpetrate the evil of the welfare state. If I could grant you a wish, forget the damned tax, as we all should be able to do.

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Trader Mallard will set up an auction on trademe for it Matt. Don't worry, he doesn't know how to set a buy-now!
By the way, still waiting for your apology to the hard working Kiwi taxpayers who you hypocritically ripped off.

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Trader Mallard will set up an auction on trademe for it Matt. Don't worry, he doesn't know how to set a buy-now!
By the way, still waiting for your apology to the hard working Kiwi taxpayers who you hypocritically ripped off.

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This story and thread is not worthy of the nbr.

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I might fully disagree with his politics, but the majority of commentors on this thread are nasty nasty people. Utterly disgraceful. Do these comments demonstrate the average NBR reader’s attitude to others? Basically pathetic bullies who never grew up to be balanced adults?

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Better to be a unbalanced bully adult with money than a nice poor person...

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Wow, says it all really!

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There is a difference between comments and abuse. We can debate issues without personal attacks surely no matter what we think of others and their beliefs. Is this sort of attitude the real reason NZ can never work together and get ahead?

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Talk about being naive.... do you seriously think Matt would settle he debts if he get an early payout from this insurance policy? .... you're bloody dreaming...

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I'm sorry to hear matt is near death, but i'm c'mon people his rhetoric over the years that business owners are evil and should pay workers more from any profits the business makes was headline grabbing, and when he acually becomes a 'business owner', he doesn't pay tax!! (missing the obvious point that if a business loses money they can take part from workers wages?....yeah right!)...sad thing is when he does die the media will just focus on 'he was a champion of the poor' and no mention of tax avoidence or $150K unpaid to IRD or his creditors)

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I can't say I have any sympathy for those who advocate stealing my hard earned cash, i.e. McCarten's political views. I especially have no sympathy for McCarten when he fails to adhere to his own political views and hypocritically & dishonestly doesn't pay his own tax like he expects everyone else to - tax is for other people to pay as compensation for being more successful than McCarten & his ilk. To be a dumb, idealistic leftie when you're young is just part of being naive & growing up, but to be a leftie when you're old is to be a damn lying thief, and fully aware of it too which makes it an unrepentant thief. No sympathy for the unrepentant.

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Easy solution for Matt is to asign the policy to his failed company and forget about his debts.(The policy was apparently paid by the company anyway)
What makes this all a little worse is that the IRD debts are supposedly not his failing to pay his tax but failing to pass on staff PAYE deductions.

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Talk about the pot calling the kettle black ... all those rich capitalists not paying taxes huh wow ... MATT how do you get in $150,000 tax arrears??

Is it that you just expect others to pay tax to fund your socialist dreams ...?? Why not write about that in a Sunday COlumn??

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There's another another problem here. If his company was paying the premium and claiming that premium cost as an expense of the company (reducing income), IRD are going to want recompense out of the insurance proceeds when/if paid, so that will reduce the $230k by a tax assessible amount eg $230k less say 30% = $161k balance to estate. It says in the blurb above that the policy owner is Matt, not the company, so the balance should be paid to his estate or him personally if he claims when he becomes terminally ill (most policies now pay the full sum assured on the life assured being diagnosed as terminally ill) .
However there is a scenario where if he took the contract out as a policy to cover debt (and I suspect that this is not the case) and all supporting data reflected this intention, with support of his financial advisers, then I understand that the benefit may not be taxed by IRD even though the premium has been claimed as a tax deduction, however to date I believe this has not been tested in law. I am not an accountant or tax specialist so this is only an opinion. There is a bit of discussion on this topic in insurance circles.

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Sorry should read "to support Business Debt" in second part

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if he rings the Insurance company he may have a terminal illness benefit where Sum Ins. paid out b4 Death.

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if he rings the Insurance company he may have a terminal illness benefit where Sum Ins. paid out b4 Death.

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