Tax policy

A New Zealand Community Living Standards Review?

Simon Chapple

New Zealand’s system of income redistribution is complex. It includes accident compensation, New Zealand Superannuation, minimum wages, tax thresholds, tax credits for families (such as Working for Families and the in-work tax credit), working age welfare benefits, and the Accommodation Supplement. The system lacks coherence. The myriad of income supports
 

Budget 2017: What tax cuts?

Terry Baucher

One of the interesting trends of the National Government’s budgets has been how it has been able to raise tax revenue practically unnoticed. Attention has largely focused on income tax rates and, to a lesser extent, the applicable thresholds. However, away from the spotlight various budgets since 2009 have made
 

New Zealand’s tax system: Internal coherence is not enough

Deborah Russell

The New Zealand tax system is largely robust.  It taxes most forms of income and consumption at rates that are by and large perceived as fair. The overall tax take sits at about 30% of GDP, a rate that compares well with other OECD nations. Most people pay their taxes,
 

Over-investing in housing

Brian Easton

While housing obviously fills a need – people need somewhere to live – it also has an investment aspect. How this investment is treated by the tax system influences the housing market, and the investment available for other purposes, such as business ventures.   There is an implicit tax-subsidy to
 

Filling the land tax void

Ranjana Gupta

The tax system plays multiple roles. In addition to being a fundamental instrument to raise revenues that finances government expenditure, it also acts as an instrument to achieve the economic and social aims of government, and redistributes income on a socially acceptable basis.   Classical economist Adam Smith developed the
 

Recent Trends in Public Spending

Brian Easton

Despite the public’s desire for more government spending there has been little increase in the aggregate level of government spending relative to GDP over the last 20 years. There was a slight rise immediately after the GFC, because GDP stagnated. Government spending as a percent of GDP is now lower
 

Timing is Everything

Cameron Preston

I was asked give a Canterbury perspective on whether I expected government services to be cut to fund tax cuts in 2017. The answer is not as straight forward as the question. In May 2011, only three months after the Christchurch Earthquake – our biggest natural disaster – the government announced
 

Spend and Tax

Brian Easton

As a general rule, New Zealanders want more public spending. Surveys (such as the 2014 Election Survey) show consistent support for increases in spending, particularly in the areas of health, education, housing, law enforcement, public transport and the environment (in that descending order) as well as favouring reduced income inequality.
 

Lack of Action on Tech Company Tax Evasion

Bernard Hickey

It’s the topic every tax official and finance minister in the developed world is talking about and acting on, yet we hear very little about it in New Zealand. Cracking down on tax avoidance by the world’s biggest technology companies — among them Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft — is