Tax Freedom Day May 31
OECD figures show Tax Freedom Day – the day we stop working for the government and start working for ourselves – is May 31. The ACT Party’s originally-declared date of May 3 was based on central government’s tax take of 34 percent of GDP..
ACT leader Richard Prebble said May 31 was based on OECD figures which put New Zealand’s total “government activity” at 41 percent of GDP.
The OECD figures also include items such as tariffs, ACC payments and local body rates.
Mr Prebble said the OECD figures were a better measure of how New Zealand’s tax burden compared with other countries, as the OECD used a standard method to assess government activity in all its member nations.
The OECD figures show New Zealanders work the first 150 days of the year for the government.
By comparison, Australians work only 117 days for the government and the OECD average is 139 days.
In Ireland people now work only 100 days for the government, thanks to lower taxes, and in the United States the figure is 109 days.
Mr Prebble said Tax Freedom Day would be even later in the year if only working households were included in the calculation.
“Many people are not really taxpayers. The income tax on benefits is nominal and it’s all taxpayer money anyway. ACT is calculating what Tax Freedom Day is for a tax-paying household and we’ll announce the date,” he said.