MEDIA RELEASE: Salute to Sallies' Spotlight on Tax

A spotlight on inequality and a bold challenge to improve Aotearoa's tax system is a welcome call to action from The Salvation Army, says the Better taxes for a Better Future campaign.

The Salvation Army today released the first of its ‘Pressing Issues for Our People’ briefing series ahead of the 2023 General Election -  with one of the first three issues being the unfairness of Aotearoa's tax system.

"We agree that Aotearoa's tax system is not fit for purpose - that purpose being to help alleviate the tax impact on the least well-off in our society," says Better taxes for a Better Future spokesperson Glenn Barclay.

"The Salvation Army also rightly points out that a sufficient tax system would ensure the government has enough revenue so that everyone, especially the least well-off, can access affordable healthcare, education and housing."

Glenn Barclay agreed that tax is a pressing issue this election year.

"There's no time to kick the can down the road on tax - these issues need addressing now."

The Salvation Army paper highlights the fact that wealth is very unequally shared in Aotearoa - the wealthiest 10% of the population control half of all wealth, while the poorest half of the population own less than 10 percent of all wealth.

The briefing paper also points out that a group of just over 300 of the wealthiest New Zealanders, who on average earn $8 million per year, paid less than 10 percent of their annual income in tax.

That is less than the rate paid by the lowest income earners (10.5%) - many of the people that The Salvation Army helps daily.

Alongside The Salvation Army and 20 other organisations, the Better taxes for a Better Future campaign is calling for a tax system that:

  • raises more revenue to enable us to address the social, economic and environmental challenges we face.
  • ensures people who have more to contribute make that contribution: that we gather more revenue from wealth, gains from wealth, all forms of income, and corporates.
  • makes greater use of fair taxes to promote good health and environmental health.
  • addresses the tax impact on the least well-off in our society.
  • is fully transparent, for example, by requiring the disclosure of information on ownership and beneficiaries of entities such as trusts.