Savings and Taxes
The CTU welcomes the latest report from the NZ Institute. These bold proposals on lifting savings and financial security for all New Zealanders deserve serious consideration and can be considered alongside Government intentions for the May Budget to announce a scheme for workplace savings and support for first-home buyers.
However the CTU thinks there are a number of major flaws in the NZ Institute proposals. Peter Conway, CTU Economist, said that “while we support some government incentives for savings, $4 billion a year is a huge ask and would mean major cuts in other areas of government spending such as health and education”.
“Also – although their proposal that the Government should match voluntary contributions is weighted towards those on lower incomes, the fact is that it would be those on the highest incomes who would most often be able to make such contributions and therefore get matched funding from Government. This is unfair.”
We need to lift wages so that people can afford to save, and we need workplace schemes that can encourage employer contributions. The NZ Institute propose tax cuts and a high level of Government funding as the basis of their proposals. But a recent survey confirmed that there is no public appetite for tax cuts at the expense of vital public services.