Call for a ‘Fair Go Levy’ on Australian-based businesses
PRESS RELEASE – Call for a ‘Fair Go Levy’ on Australian-based businesses operating in New Zealand
An estimated 300,000 New Zealanders permanently resident in Australia are being taxed for an increasing number of government services that they are ineligible to receive. Oz Kiwi considers this regime to be unfair and discriminatory.
The New Zealand Government saw such treatment as potentially discriminatory when it considered applying tit-for-tat restrictions to Australians in New Zealand:
‘The introduction of a nationality-based immigration filter to control access to social security may raise human rights issues.’ (NZ Foreign Minister Phil Goff, 2000)
The Australian Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights recently raised identical concerns regarding the exclusion of New Zealanders from the NDIS – even though they are required to pay the increased Medicare levy that funds the scheme.
Despite growing complaints of discrimination and human rights violations, the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott recently confirmed that he is happy with the current situation and does not intend to make any changes. The New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said he respected Australia’s sovereign right to discriminate against New Zealanders.
We at Oz Kiwi believe that the trans-Tasman single market is to benefit individuals, not just big business. The current impasse must end. If Mr.
Abbott will not change these exploitative, discriminatory laws and if John Key won’t exercise his rights to complain under international human rights law then the only option left is for New Zealand to amend its laws.
If the Australian government can tax New Zealanders in its territory - whilst denying them access to the very services they help fund - then Oz Kiwi sees no reason why Australian-based companies operating in New Zealand cannot be similarly taxed in order to help redress the discrimination.
The Australian Government has been demanding that New Zealand pay compensation for the social security costs of New Zealanders living, working, and paying taxes in Australia. This levy would provide a legitimate means by which New Zealand could fulfil this Australian request without imposing an unfair tax burden upon its own residents.
Oz Kiwi therefore calls upon the New Zealand Parliament to introduce a ‘Fair Go Levy’ on Australian companies operating in New Zealand. Proceeds from this Levy would be used to assist New Zealanders being denied services in Australia, such as the disabled and women fleeing domestic violence.
The rate of the levy would vary in accordance with changes in Australian policy - if discrimination against New Zealanders increased so would the levy. If it diminished, the rate would accordingly decrease.
We recommend that the Fair Go Levy should be modelled after Tony Abbott's paid parental scheme in that it would only apply to large Australian corporations which take significant profits out of New Zealand.
Oz Kiwi respects the human rights of Australians residing in New Zealand, and agrees with Mr. Goff that their individual rights to naturalisation, education, social security, and equality before the law should not be curtailed. New Zealand should continue to be seen as a country that actually respects the notion of a fair go.