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Why a #TaxJustice campaign – and why now?

New Zealand’s tax system is unfair and we need to fix it. A fair tax system is a powerful tool in building a society where every New Zealander gets a fair go.
The Tax Working Group has given us options to help fix our tax system. On matters like the Capital Gains Tax, the Tax Working Group has presented yet another solid case for treating all income the same whether it is capital income or earned income.

But, so far, there has been insufficient public focus on how tax reforms could create greater tax fairness. And the role of options such as the Capital Gains Tax in promoting fairness and reduced inequalities has not been prominent in in the public domain.

Tax Justice Aotearoa New Zealand sees a rare opportunity to emphasise that, if we want to reduce inequality and poverty, we need to make real changes to our tax system. The time to mobilise more voices that support a fair tax system, including a Capital Gains Tax, is now!

Who is Tax Justice Aotearoa NZ and how can you help?

Tax Justice Aotearoa New Zealand is an independent non-governmental organisation, linked to the global Tax Justice Network. We want transparent, democratic and fair tax systems for people and planet to flourish. To do this, we have initiated a #TaxJustice campaign. We have sufficient initial funding to go public with a couple of
billboards in Wellington and ads in several major newspapers.

The messages for this will be simple and direct, along the lines of ‘We need a fairer tax system involving CGT and we need it now!’

We can’t do this alone. The Fabian Society is supporting this campaign.  Can you chip in some putea/ funding to help make this happen?

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Bill Rosenberg was a member of the Tax Working Group. His presentation at the Fabian Society in Wellington is summarised here. The summary is taken from his article in the NZCTU monthly economic Bulletin. The full article will be published in the Papers and Presentations section of the website.

The Tax Working Group (TWG) has reported back. The reactions to the proposal for taxing the income from capital gains have ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous and from “it doesn’t go nearly far enough” to “this is the end of the kiwi way of life”. They have exposed a class society where one group of people seemingly believe that almost everyone owns at least one investment property and a bach (no wonder they didn’t believe there is a housing crisis) while the experience of most is that buying even one house is increasingly unaffordable.

‘Brexit’ and political instability in the United Kingdom; ongoing prime ministerial instability in Australia and presidential unsuitability in the United States define the main symptoms of the disruptions elsewhere in the Anglosphere. The central question for tonight’s discussion is, therefore: might New Zealand also face an electoral disturbance like that recently experienced in these three other Anglosphere countries?

The passing of Ian Shirley brings to mind that period in time before bad Roger got us so totally off-piste. Within a few years of Ian fronting concerns about the endemic homogeneity of the then welfare state, how it lacked capacity to hear the concerns of Maori, the poor, women, new migrants, suburbia and new ghettos, Roger had us responding to attacks on the welfare state that were far more distracting. We were turned from supporting many claims for equality and emancipation – addressing power structures that denied rights and equal opportunity to diverse communities, to defending the gains, and even the edifice, assumed post-1938. The welfare state was blamed for many things and the market was offered as the centre of opportunity. Neo-liberalism took over the narratives and the issues Ian had raised were dissed as 'identity politics'.

88 years ago a mass migration of economic refugees was occurring in Kurow, North Otago as desperate families moved into the area in search of work from the Waitaki hydroelectric dam.