A spotlight on inequality and a bold challenge to improve Aotearoa’s tax system is a welcome call to action from The Salvation Army, says the Better taxes for a Better Future campaign.
The Salvation Army today released the first of its ‘Pressing Issues for Our People’briefing series ahead of the 2023 General Election – with one of the first three issues being the unfairness of Aotearoa’s tax system.
“We agree that Aotearoa’s tax system is not fit for purpose – that purpose being to help alleviate the tax impact on the least well-off in our society,” says Better taxes for a Better Future spokesperson Glenn Barclay.
“The Salvation Army also rightly points out that a sufficient tax system would ensure the government has enough revenue so that everyone, especially the least well-off, can access affordable healthcare, education and housing.”
Glenn Barclay agreed that tax is a pressing issue this election year.
“There’s no time to kick the can down the road on tax – these issues need addressing now.”
The Salvation Army paper highlights the fact that wealth is very unequally shared in Aotearoa – the wealthiest 10% of the population control half of all wealth, while the poorest half of the population own less than 10 percent of all wealth.
The briefing paper also points out that a group of just over 300 of the wealthiest New Zealanders, who on average earn $8 million per year, paid less than 10 percent of their annual income in tax.
That is less than the rate paid by the lowest income earners (10.5%) – many of the people that The Salvation Army helps daily.
Alongside The Salvation Army and 20 other organisations, the Better taxes for a Better Future campaign is calling for a tax system that:
- raises more revenue to enable us to address the social, economic and environmental challenges we face.
- ensures people who have more to contribute make that contribution: that we gather more revenue from wealth, gains from wealth, all forms of income, and corporates.
- makes greater use of fair taxes to promote good health and environmental health.
- addresses the tax impact on the least well-off in our society.
- is fully transparent, for example, by requiring the disclosure of information on ownership and beneficiaries of entities such as trusts.