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Tax Justice Releases Election Policy Recommendations, 12:30pm 4 August

  • 4 August 2020, Tax Justice Aotearoa (TJA) releases its tax policy recommendations in the ramp-up to the election.
  • 12:30pm, GBLT2, Government Buildings, Pipitea Campus, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Speakers: Louise Delany, TJA Chair; Paul Barber, TJA member; Mike Smith, TJA member.

Tax reform is no longer a fringe issue, with members across the political spectrum keen to see a fair, effective and sustainable tax system.

“People at the bottom of the economic distribution contribute an unfair share of their resources to our hospitals and schools than those at the top. This is an unbalanced system. But it can be fixed.” said Tax Justice Aotearoa NZ Chair, Louise Delany.

With a wealth tax now proposed by the Greens, TJA looks forward to other parties’ tax policies and discussion as we move towards a fair tax system, regardless of political leanings.

Tax Justice Aotearoa recommends three reforms:

First, the addition of a new tax bracket for those receiving high incomes. Currently people on $700,000 pay the same top tax rate – 33% – as people on $70,000. In Australia, they’d pay 45%; in Denmark, 56%. We propose a new 50% tax rate on income over $150,000. This would reduce inequality, fund public services better, and help share the load for the rebuild.

Second, a net wealth tax. This will be critical to funding the things we need to recover from coronavirus and economic recession. New Zealand is one of the few OECD countries without any sort of tax on assets. Those of us who work for income have to pay tax, while those who hold assets don’t. This needs to change. By hording wealth and skipping on taxes, the very rich aren’t contributing their fair share to public services we all use and need.

Third, we need to bring clarity to the tax system. It should be simple, clear and transparent. If the public knows who pays what, when and how. Kiwis should have faith their tax dollars are being spent well and reduces the chance of tax avoidance. We propose improved disclosure and public access to tax-related information, and independent standards to make sure this information is comprehensive and accurate.

New Zealand has done so well this far through the global coronavirus pandemic by sticking together and helping each other out. We can take this strength and use it to address other challenges we face as a society, like the fact that many people don’t get the education, health care and support they need. Our tax system is an expression of sharing and we can use this system in better ways than what we do now to make sure everyone in our country can flourish.

More information: www.taxjustice.nz

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