The Green Party urges the government to take urgent action to create a fairer tax system that works for all New Zealanders.
The call follows an admission today by Revenue Minister David Parker that New Zealand’s wealthiest few people are not paying their fair share.
“Most New Zealanders want the wealthiest to pay their fair share of taxes so that we can fund strong public services and ensure the poorest have a living,” says Julie Anne Genter, party finance spokeswoman. green.
“However, in a speech today, Minister Parker essentially agreed with what the Green Party has been saying for decades: that the tax system we have in New Zealand, which has been overseen by Labor governments and successive nationals, does not work for everyone.
The minister even said the government had ‘virtually no idea’ what rate of tax New Zealand’s wealthiest people are currently paying. However, he expects research will soon show that these wealthy New Zealanders pay taxes at a much lower rate than those on middle incomes.
“According to a study by the Inland Revenue and Treasury, published last year, the wealthiest New Zealanders pay on average only 12% of their total income in taxes. This is partly because we tax labor income, but we don’t tax wealth. High net worth individuals derive their income from untaxed or lightly taxed sources.
“It is remarkable that it has taken the government so long to realize that the rich few are not paying their fair share. Worse still, after finally acknowledging the problem, there is no plan to fix it – other than spending months developing a set of fairness principles to guide the tax system. Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon proposes to make the problem even worse by cutting taxes on the wealthy, pushing more people into poverty.
“The principle that Minister Parker must apply here is actually quite simple: New Zealanders deserve a tax system that will fund strong public services and ensure that those most in need have enough income to live in dignity.
“The simplest solution is to introduce a capital gains tax or a wealth tax on individuals’ net worth over $1 million, not including mortgages and other debts. This would only apply to the wealthiest six percent of New Zealanders.
“Implementing a capital gains tax or a wealth tax will remove the tax-advantaged status of real estate investment, which will also help to fight inflation. The government will not don’t have to wait until the research is done next year to decide what needs to change. Minister Parker was clear today: our tax system is unfair. And it needs urgent attention,” says Julie Anne Genter .