Phillip Mills gets the hypocrite of the week award

Monday 15 May 2023, 2:27AM

By New Zealand Taxpayers' Union


Screenshot from MBIE's wage subsidy online employer database
Screenshot from MBIE's wage subsidy online employer database Credit: New Zealand Taxpayers' Union

The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Phillip Mills – of Les Mills – to pay back the $4.5 million his company took in wage subsidies before spouting off about how much he wants to, he says, pay more to the Government.

The Taxpayers’ Union has been tipped off by Auckland University Professor Robert MacCulloch that Les Mills New Zealand Ltd claimed a total of $4,510,078.80 in wage subsidies and has not repaid the amount despite many companies and even not-for-profits doing so.

Taxpayers' Union Executive Director Jordan Williams said: “It is a special kind of hypocrisy to tell national media about how you ‘want to pay more' to the Government, but not have your business join all of those who have paid back the wage subsidy."

"Mr Mills is right to point out that money is better spend on quality health and education than lining his own company pockets. That's why those who can afford it have done the right thing and paid back wage subsidies.”

“Actions speak louder than virtue signalling. Talk is cheap. Mr Mills should put his money where his mouth is, or get off his high exercise horse.”


On Thursday, Philip Mills was reported in Stuff as one of the people who added their name to the a public letter that begins “We write as people who are frustrated with how much tax we pay. We want to pay more."

Mr Mills is quoted as saying that the current tax system is “broken” and “We’ve been focused too much for too long on paying lower and lower taxes. We need to focus more on having a world-class education system and not having people living in poverty and children coming to school not having enough to eat.” and “Those who can afford it should be paying significantly more taxes.”