Council of Trade Unions Secretary Sam Huggard said today that the proposed appointment of Council of Trade Unions Economist, Dr Bill Rosenberg, would give working people the confidence to participate in the Government’s Tax Working Group.
“Bill is an economist for the people” Mr Huggard said. “He cares deeply about the rights and welfare of New Zealanders in paid work, and I know he’ll staunchly represent their interests on the Working Group”.
“We’re particularly pleased working people will be represented because there’s consensus from most New Zealanders that we need a fairer and more sustainable tax system. The highest effective marginal tax rates in New Zealand are paid by middle income families receiving Working for Families tax credits. We have wealthy companies like Apple who are generating massive sales in New Zealand but paying no tax here. Conservatively, we are letting these companies move half a billion dollars offshore every year. I don’t think anyone sees that as fair.”
“Tax is an issue that touches on all working people’s lives, both in our pay slips and through the public services we rely on. It’s no secret that our schools and hospitals have been missing out on vital funding. The Tax Working Group has an opportunity to strengthen New Zealand’s tax system so it can meet the needs of New Zealanders now and in the future. We can reduce taxes that negatively impact low income people, like G.S.T., and move to taxing non-productive and harmful activities like pollution or flipping overvalued houses.”
“As part of the Working Group process, the Council of Trade Unions will be looking for opportunities to actively seek and include the voices of working New Zealanders. We all have a massive stake in this – you don’t have to be a tax ‘expert’ to know what quality public services you need maintained for you and your family.”