The Council of Trade Unions today welcomed the interim report of the Tax Working Group which pointed to some obvious fixes to make New Zealand more fair and equal.
“Tax policy can be really complicated, but fairness and better sharing isn’t,” Sam Huggard, CTU Secretary said. “The Tax Working Group has found that New Zealand has one of the least effective tax systems for reducing inequality among similar countries, and also one of the least effective benefit and income support systems. This is holding us back from a high-powered economy, and dragging down the health, happiness and potential of most Kiwis.”
“A capital gains tax is such an obvious solution, and we are pleased it is still on the table. Independent market research shows that most people agree we need a capital gains tax.”
“Most importantly, the vast majority of New Zealanders, 92%, know that our public services need more funding and two thirds of us think the Government should collect more tax overall, including by adding a further income tax bracket at the top end. We are disappointed the Working Group has failed to find ways to implement a wealth tax despite skyrocketing inequality, which makes re-balancing income taxes a no-brainer.”
“If we are going to continuing relying heavily on taxes like G.S.T that hit the poorest hardest, we have to balance any new taxes like pollution taxes with better assistance and wages for already struggling families. This is why we support stronger employment law to help workers lift their incomes. We cannot rely on the tax and transfers system alone to do the heavy lifting on reducing inequality – businesses need to pay higher wages too.”
“There is extremely high support in New Zealand for sourcing revenue from polluting companies, and for tightening the net on tax-dodging multi-nationals. Tax inequality in New Zealand is by design, and we have clear policy options now to make this country fairer. Most people putting in the long hours just to pay rents and mortgages will say these tax changes can’t come soon enough.”