PREFU has given a good insight into what was required to ensure New Zealanders were largely supported to continue work and remain healthy during COVID-19, but it is clear we need additional revenue raising measures ongoing, Green Party Co-leader James Shaw said today.
“As a partner in this Government, the Greens have played an important role in developing policies like the Wage Subsidy that have helped to cushion the blow of the pandemic on New Zealand communities.
“A successful economy should be measured by the good it creates in people’s lives. Fewer people unemployed, higher than expected tax revenues, and a more sustainable fiscal position all means that we can continue to make sure people have the lives and the livelihoods that they genuinely deserve.
“The data in the PREFU is complex, but the picture it paints is simple. When more people have work, they are not only able to provide for their families, but they also earn money that they spend in their local communities – which are the parts of the economy where most people earn their livelihood.
“We have always said that this stimulus needs to help the people who make our communities running – the supermarket staff, nurses, teachers, community workers, and caregivers. However, what we are starting to see is that stimulus spending is helping asset owners more than it is the people who go to work each day to earn money to put food on the table.
“A Wealth Tax would help to rebalance the economy and ensure the wealthiest people in New Zealand, those who own property and shares, pay their fair share.
“We all chip in taxes so we can have the country we want, including affordable healthcare, quality education, and accessible public transport. This is exactly what taxes are supposed to pay for, and why those who are benefitting the most should chip in a little more.
“A Wealth Tax could also enable transformational change by generating revenues that can be invested back into ensuring everyone has a dignified income with a Guaranteed Minimum Income.
“The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has opened a window onto something new, something better. Returning to business as usual, and the inequality it entails, should not be an option,” James Shaw said.
The Green Party’s Poverty Action Plan would:
- Implement a wealth tax for those with a net-worth over $1 million. This is likely to raise around $7.9 billion in its first year, and would pay for a dignified Guaranteed Minimum Income of $325 to all unemployed or underemployed New Zealanders
- Add two new top income tax bands for a more progressive tax system that redistributes wealth, set at 37% on income over $100,000 and 42% on income over $150,000
- Close multi-national corporation tax loopholes.