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New Tax Working Group to assist government

Hon Bill English
Minister of Finance
Hon Peter Dunne
Minister of Revenue


8 May 2009
Media Statement

New Tax Working Group to assist government

Finance Minister Bill English and Revenue Minister Peter Dunne today welcomed the establishment of a Tax Working Group, which will assist the government in considering the key tax policy challenges facing New Zealand.

The Tax Working Group, co-ordinated by Victoria University’s Centre for Accounting, Governance and Taxation Research, will bring together invited private sector and academic experts, as well as Treasury and Inland Revenue officials. It will consider the medium-term direction of the tax system, including assessing policy options.

“A strategic review of the tax system is necessary - particularly in light of the challenges posed by the current economic and fiscal environment and our medium-term goal of a 30 percent top personal tax rate," Mr English said.

Mr Dunne said there was an opportunity for the group to make a highly useful contribution. "We look forward to considering the interesting ideas that will no doubt emerge from the Tax Working Group.”.

Between June and November, through a series of meetings and papers, the working group will provide informed tax policy discussion that can feed into advice to ministers and wider public debate.

It will consider the government’s medium-term fiscal position, the pros and cons of possible reform options and whether or not any of these should be dismissed as unworkable.

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The aim is to identify issues that need to be considered when reviewing medium-term tax policy, rather than to make specific policy recommendations. Topics to be considered include the fiscal framework, and the structure of personal income tax, corporate tax, GST and tax integrity.

The Tax Working Group will be chaired by Victoria University Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Commerce and Administration, Professor Bob Buckle.

The private sector and academic experts on the group will include Rob Cameron, Paul Dunne, Arthur Grimes, Rob McLeod, Gareth Morgan, Mike Shaw, Geof Nightingale, Casey Plunkett, John Shewan, Mark Weldon, John Prebble and David White.

Regular updates on the group’s work will be available through the Treasury, Inland Revenue Policy Advice Division and Victoria University websites. A one-day conference in December 2009 - hosted by the university – will provide opportunities for wider debate and discussion around the group’s findings.

ENDS

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