Instead of creating an appeal fund and one-off lotto draw, the Labour Government could tax the billions of dollars banks have made in unearned, excess profits and use the money to support people.
“Has the Government heard of tax? It’s simple: tax the banks; don’t work with them to set up an appeal fund,” says Green Party finance spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.
“The profit made by the Government’s chosen appeal fund partner, Westpac, hit a record $1.1 billion last year.
“While Westpac and other foreign-owned banks are generating record profits, thousands of families are being forced to make impossible choices about whether to pay the bills or put food on the table.
“Lotteries and gambling disproportionately also harm lower income communities.
“Launching the appeal fund, the Prime Minister said the Government was ‘giving wealthy people the opportunity to contribute’. There is a simpler opportunity: tax them fairly.
“The money we need to support each other is already there. An excess profit tax would be a simple and effective way to unlock the resources we need to support the people who need it the most.
“A 10% levy on the banking sector’s record profits would raise over half a billion dollars which could be used to support people.
“There are only political choices standing in the way of building the Aotearoa we need. Today the Government has made the wrong choice,” says Julie Anne Genter.