CTU Media Release
18 March 2013
CTU Joins Action Group Against Carpark Tax
The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions Te Kauae Kaimahi has joined the FBT Action Group in the fight against Peter Dunne's proposed 50% carpark tax.
CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg says "this tax will hurt workers throughout the country. We are happy to join the public campaign against these changes along with Unite, employers, landlords and advertising executives."
"We are concerned at the effect taxing employee car parks may have on worker safety for shift workers if implemented. Many workers are working hours when public transport is infrequent or unavailable, and it may also increase distances workers have to walk to and from their workplaces which could lead to increased risk of violent or sexual assault on these workers."
"We are concerned that this proposal may lead to the costs being passed on to low-paid workers such as cleaners and hotel workers who can ill afford a drop in remuneration. It will also affect other staff in central city schools, tertiary education, hospitals, central and local government and businesses."
"We also note that the proposed 'window' for night shift workers, from 10 pm - 6 am, will not capture many common shift patterns. For example, all Auckland City Hospital nurses' night shifts will be caught by the FBT because they begin or finish outside this period. Some longer shifts go from 7.30pm to 7am. Most shifts are longer than 8 hours due to a meal break in the middle."
Bill Rosenberg says "if the aim of the government is to gather more revenue and make the tax system fairer, there are simpler and more effective options which we can suggest."
"We're joining calls for the government to pull this tax," he said.
EMA Chief Executive Kim Campbell, Property Council Chief Executive Connal Townshend, Tournament Managing Director James Brown and CAANZ Chief Executive Paul Head said they were thrilled to have the CTU's support.
"When a government department and minister propose something this stupid, unusual coalitions come together to oppose it, and this is one such example," Mr Campbell said.
CTU representatives will teleconference with their counterparts from EMA, the Property Council, CAANZ, Tournament and Unite this afternoon to contribute its ideas and networks to the campaign.
This will include a review of the initial creative work for an advertising campaign against the tax, donated by CAANZ members.
Note: The FBT Action Group was formed this month to fight the indiscriminate 50% tax hike to be forced on everyone in the CBD from night-shift cleaners to merchant bankers.
The foundation members of the FBT Action Group were Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) Northern, the Property Council New Zealand and Tournament Group.
They were joined on Wednesday by the Creative Agencies Association of New Zealand (CAANZ) and are also strongly supported by the Unite Union, concerned particularly about the impact of the proposed tax on health and safety of low-paid inner city workers such as those at SkyCity Entertainment.