PSA disappointed at Tax Working Group Terms of Reference

The narrow scope of the government’s much-anticipated Tax Working Group is a disappointment to unions and working people, the PSA says.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson has released the terms of reference today and inheritance tax and an increase in income taxes have been ruled out of scope.

These limits will make it hard to have the wide-ranging and holistic dialogue around tax and public services that is sorely needed in New Zealand, PSA National Secretaries Glenn Barclay and Erin Polaczuk say.

"A world-class health and education system, strong public services, future-proofed infrastructure and vibrant communities are what Aotearoa sorely needs," Mr Barclay says.

"Workers understand that pooling our resources is the only way to achieve these goals - and the way we do this is through a fair and transparent tax system.

"Tax also plays a role in reducing inequality, which was at the core of Labour’s election manifesto."

Ms Polaczuk says workers must have a strong voice in the Tax Working Group.

"We note the Finance Minister has promised ‘a diverse range of tax and finance experts’ will make up the Group.

"We would urge him to include unions and other groups representing working New Zealanders and their families.

"PSA members have much to contribute to this group, as the positive reaction to our book Progressive Thinking: Ten Perspectives on Tax illustrates.

"Tax is not just for governments, elites and academics to discuss.

"It’s paid by New Zealanders for New Zealanders, and we should all have a say in how it works."