A diverse group of organisations have combined forces this election year to call for bold action to make our tax system fairer.
The Fair Tax Coalition is made up of environmental organisations, campaign groups, unions, social service organisations, human rights groups and faith-based organisations, and launched its Better taxes for a Better Future campaign today.
The campaign calls on politicians to address the inequities in our tax system and to ensure the system gathers enough revenue to enable the country to address the complex challenges we face.
“Tax is an essential part of our social and economic framework – it is how we support each other and fund our collective needs, but our tax system is deeply unfair,” says Fair Tax Coalition chair Glenn Barclay.
“It requires a lot from the least well-off in society and does not require a very large contribution from its wealthier citizens.”
This gap was recently demonstrated by the research into high net worth individuals conducted by IRD earlier this year, which found that the median effective tax rate of the wealthiest families in New Zealand was 9.4% compared to 20.2% for a middle wealth New Zealander.
“The problem is not just that our tax system asks too much from the least well-off and not enough of the wealthy,” says Glenn Barclay, “but it also does not generate enough to enable us to address the many challenges we face as a country – whether it be poverty and inequality, climate change, overstretched public services or our infrastructure deficit.
“We are asking our politicians to be bold when it comes to their tax policies,” says Glenn Barclay, “There are a range of tax ideas that could make a difference and it’s time the Government adopted some of them.”
The Coalition has written to all our MPs asking them to commit to a tax system that:
- Is fully transparent. For example, by requiring the disclosure of information on ownership and beneficiaries of entities such as trusts.
- 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. For example, by introducing a tax-free band at the bottom of our income tax scales or looking again at the design of GST.
- Raise more revenue to enable us address the social, economic and environmental challenges we face
“There are a range of innovative tax options that could work in Aotearoa,” says Glenn Barclay, “Urgency is needed to address inequities in the system and to ensure we have better taxes for a better future.”
Better taxes for a Better Future is a Fair Tax Coalition initiative supported by:
Oxfam Aotearoa; Amnesty International; ActionStation NZ; Council of Trade Unions; The Salvation Army; Climate Club; Public Service Association; Council of Christian Social Services; NZ Nurses Organisation; Anglican Advocacy; Child Poverty Action Group; Post Primary Teachers’ Association; Closing the Gap; Renters United; EcuAction Canterbury; Tax Justice Aotearoa; First Union; Wellbeing Alliance for All Aotearoa.