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The poor, women, Maori, Pacific workers core too

CTU media release
18 May 2010

The poor, women, Maori, Pacific workers core and critical as well Mr Key!

The Prime Minister’s comments that workers should not be concerned when his second budget this week disproportionately favours the most wealthy in society because these people are “core and critical” to our economy is disrespectful and wrong, said CTU President Helen Kelly.

Kelly said: “Tax cuts for those that already earn the most in our society will do absolutely nothing for groups in society such as women, Maori, Pacific workers who are statistically very under-represented in that group, not to mention all those workers in sectors like aged care, cleaning, hospitality – all those who are vital to our communities and our workplaces and many who are struggling simply to pay basic living expenses.”

“This last couple of years has seen some of the most gross behaviour by some of the very people that will benefit most from these tax cuts including people like Mark Hotchin and others, and has seen many, many decent working people lose their jobs, their life savings and their homes. Recognising only these people as ‘core and critical’ because they earn the most is insulting and wrong. A budget that helps those on lower incomes is what any decent government would deliver at this point.”

The CTU opposes an increase in GST but supports an increase in property taxes. However, added Kelly, it is opposed to the revenue from this going overwhelmingly to those on high incomes. It is also concerned that tax cuts will mean more user pays for services such as early childhood education and health which will also impact more on low income people.

“There is no point arguing that those on high incomes pay the most tax. The top 50 percent of income earners pay 89 percent of tax but they get 84 percent of taxable income. Making them better off is not a tax switch. It is a tax swindle.”

ENDS

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