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

 

Press release on the TWG final report

Income Equality Aotearoa Inc—“Closing the Gap”-- is pleased with the Tax Working Group final report but it does not go far enough says Peter Malcolm, spokesperson for the group.

Over the last 40 years there has been a significant shift of financial resources from the poor to the wealthy in New Zealand primarily through changes to the tax system. The TWG recommendations go some way to redress this unfair situation. The report says the TWG found that the present tax system, and consequently Government revenue, relies on a relatively narrow range of taxes that it is not particularly progressive and hence does little to reduce inequality. Further our present capital gains tax system is inconsistent and regressive; it undermines our social capital and benefits only the wealthiest members of our society.

As a consequence they have recommended a reasonably comprehensive capital gains tax , with a few exceptions. We can understand the exclusion of the family home on political grounds but consider the argument irrational. The TWG is also suggesting the CGT will make it possible to increase the income for the poor either through reductions in tax or increases in benefit.

But In our view the TWG hasn’t gone far enough. Although much of the following was ruled out by the Terms of Reference there are hints from the TWG that the Government should look further at some of these issues. There are no recommendations for increases in income tax for the rich and no move on windfall or inheritances taxes which mostly benefit the wealthy.

Our last area of concern is that there is no recommendation for an increase in the total tax take. Over the last 40 years, in real terms, many Government services, particularly those in health and education have been underfunded. Education is no longer free and neither is health for adults and this has placed an increasing financial burden on the poor. Also the salaries for people working in these areas need significant lifting. Some of this is happening now but it is nowhere near enough. To solve these problems will require an increase in the total tax take. Overall, we are a low tax country. In the last 40 years the wealthy have done well. On grounds of fairness and equity, our wealthy can and should make a larger contribution to the wellbeing of our society. This would lead to a reduction in our high rate of wealth/income inequality,

This is a good start by Michael Cullen and his team. They make strong statements about the importance of good attitudes, fairness and equity leading to a better society for all. We hope that on this basis the Government will have the courage to adopt most if not all of the TWG’s recommendations and then move on from there toward building that better society.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Whakaari/White Island: A Minute’s Silence For Victims

A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed...

The minute’s silence will be exactly one week after the eruption started on Monday 9 December. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On What An Inquiry Might Look Like
Presumably, if there is to be a ministerial inquiry (at the very least) into the Whakaari/White Island disaster, it will need to be a joint ministerial inquiry. That’s because the relevant areas of responsibility seem to be so deeply interwoven... More>>

 

More Discussions: National On Housing, Transport And Infrastructure

National has today released the ninth and tenth in our series of discussion documents, which contain a range of proposals to ensure New Zealand has the high-quality housing and infrastructure it needs to prosper, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

Trains: Govt's Plans For Rail

The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Welfare Vs Infrastructure Spending

If New Zealand has a pressing need to stimulate its flagging economy, it seems very weird that the government is choosing a $12 billion package of infrastructure spending – mainly on road and rail – that by definition, will take a very long time to deliver their stimulatory benefits ... More>>

New Reports: "Immediate Commitment To Doing Justice Differently"

Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and Te Tangi o te Manawanui: Recommendations for Reform from the Chief Victims Advisor. Both recommend a fresh approach to the way criminal justice has been approached... More>>

ALSO:

"Heart-Breaking And Confronting": Surgical Mesh Restorative Justice Report

Minister Genter: “People have talked about losing the life they had enjoyed before surgical mesh harmed them – the loss of a steady job, the ability to exercise, a loving relationship in some cases. Others described the chronic pain they experienced..." More>>

ALSO:

Law Foundation: Government Decryption Powers Must Respect Privacy

The power of government to order users and companies to decrypt encrypted data and devices needs stronger privacy protections and additional safeguards, according to a study published by researchers at the University of Waikato. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels