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PSA Says Abandoning Tax Principles Retrograde Step

Scrapping taxation principles reporting is an attack on transparency and accountability, as well as undermining of the role of the public service in informing the public debate on a crucial issue for the future of New Zealand, says the PSA.

The Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi is the union for thousands of Inland Revenue workers.

PSA National Secretary Kerry Davies says scrapping taxation principles reporting is the wrong move.

"Transparency and accountability are fundamental to trust in Government, and this is particularly important in relation to how it gathers revenue through the taxation system.

"Work done by public servants in Inland Revenue was crucial in informing the public ahead of the general election about how unequally taxation is levied on New Zealanders. Without their mahi we would not have known that 311 wealthy families in New Zealand were paying around half the rate of tax as the average New Zealander.

"Good decision making in this area is required and this must be evidence-based.

"That is why the PSA, along with many other organisations, supported the introduction of internationally-recognised taxation principles reporting and we call upon the government to send the repeal legislation to a select committee so that its merits can be openly considered and weighed.

"In the regulatory impact statement provided when Parliament debated the current legislation Inland Revenue supported the introduction of statutory reporting against tax principles. It‘s not credible that this free and frank advice will have changed within the space of months, but because the government has done away with repeal bill impact statements it is effectively silencing the voices of its own taxation experts.

"We call on the government to at the very least release the significant work that will have already gone into producing the Commissioner’s first report which was due to be published within days. The public deserves to see the advice officials have spent months preparing rather than have this discarded and disregarded," Kerry Davies said.

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