Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Why not let Robin Hood help our children thrive?

Why not let Robin Hood help our children thrive?


Why have we been so willing to accept the fact that a quarter of our children live in poverty? And why are we so unwilling to do anything about it when some simple measures would give all New Zealand’s kids the chance to flourish?

Income inequality is one of the key reasons we have poverty in this country. And one way to make us more equal is use our tax system to provide the resources for positive change.

So let’s talk about tax. Not just income tax. Other kinds of tax too - Capital Gains Tax, inheritance tax and the financial transactions tax. It’s time to get serious about tax evasion too.

These are concrete, clever ways to make an immediate difference in the lives of our children and the most vulnerable in our communities.

New Zealand is a low-tax economy. Our low-tax rates, our “missing” taxes, and massive unpaid tax bills intensify the gap between rich and poor.

Proposals to bring in an extra high income tax rate, that only the top two or three percent of tax payers would have to pay, have been described in the media as a “Robin Hood” tax. Around the world, the financial transactions tax is also likened to Robin Hood.

But who is taking from whom, when up to $6 billion of tax evasion every year means there’s not enough money to fund economic, health, housing, educational and social initiatives that would benefit the entire nation?

There is no hard evidence that higher tax rates harm the economy. In fact, evidence points to the opposite: increased government spending stimulates the economy. Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz recommends a top marginal tax rate of 70%. That puts our current top rate of 33% into perspective.

A financial transactions tax is being implemented in nine European countries. This, among a raft of other policy choices, is a serious tax option for all parties to consider. Let’s use our taxation system to reduce inequality in New Zealand, not to exacerbate it.

Archbishop John Dew has reminded us that, “our children are our nation’s precious taonga. We, as adults, have a collective responsibility always to strive to do our best for our children.”

Today we’re failing. But in a more equal New Zealand, all our children will have the chance to thrive.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Land Swap: Setback For Ruataniwha Scheme As Forest & Bird Wins Appeal

The Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society has won an appeal against a proposed land swap by the Department of Conservation which would have allowed 22 hectares of Ruahine Forest Park be flooded as part of the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme that will provide irrigation for farmers. More>>

ALSO:

Up: Official July Crime Stats Released

Official crime statistics for July 2016 show that Police recorded 11,171 more victimisations than the same period last year, which equates to a 2.3 per cent increase. More than three quarters of this increase can be attributed to burglaries. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Judith Collins Charm Offensive

Suddenly, Judith Collins is everyone’s new best friend. It isn’t an election year, but the Corrections/Police Minister is treating 2016 as an opportunity for a political makeover… Feel that the Police don’t attend burglaries often enough, or assiduously enough? She’s the peoples’ champ on that one. More>>

PM's Press Conference: Crime And Diplomacy

The Prime Minister's press conference today was dominated by foreign affairs and an open letter from the PM to the Chinese community on crime. More>>

ACC: Govt Caught In Unethical Cluster Bomb Investments

The ACC Fund admitted that it had $1.4 million invested in cluster munitions and nuclear weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin. Before responding to the Green Party’s request for information,however, ACC sold its Lockheed investment and updated its ethical investment policy. More>>

ALSO:

Local Governments To Decide: Easter Trading Bill Passes

The union representing working people in the retail industry is condemning the Government for whipping its MPs to pass the controversial Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill. More>>

ALSO:

Departure Speech: Governor-General’s State Farewell Luncheon

"...Unfortunately I was unable to get to the Antarctic, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadecs. A dicky heart thwarted our travel to the Antarctic; and even though I volunteered to parachute into the Kermadecs to join the Young Blake expedition, time, commitments and officials frustrated my plans to visit the Kermadecs and Chathams." More>>

ALSO:

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news