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Let's talk about tax - 10 Perspectives on Tax

Welcome to our Budget week publication for 2017, which features ten leading authors, academics and campaigners writing journalistically on a broad range of topics in tax theory and policy, including contributions from Max Rashbrooke, Susan St John, Shamubeel Eaqub, Morgan Godfery and more.

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Download HERE (low resolution PDF file, 3.3mb)

The booklet will be available to buy in physical form from Unity Books in Wellington and Auckland from Wednesday 24th May. All sales revenue will be donated to UnionAID, a New Zealand charitable trust that helps alleviate poverty and achieve social justice by supporting overseas workers to form unions and worker collectives.



Foreword by Glenn Barclay & Erin Polaczuk, PSA national secretaries

  1. Talking tax, with context and all that by Morgan Godfery
    Here’s some advice, a truism from years of talking and writing about te ao Māori: never mention the Treaty of Waitangi in polite company. People shift in their seats, their bellies tighten, and they think you’re accusing them of something sinister. . .
  2. History of tax policy in New Zealand by Dr Lisa Marriott
    This chapter provides a brief history of some of the tax policy changes in New Zealand’s recent history. It examines the three primary forms of taxing: income, consumption and capital. The deliberate trend of tax changes in recent years has been to broaden the tax base and lower the tax rates and is visible in much – but not all – of New Zealand’s extant tax policy. . .
  3. What my parents taught me about tax (and fairness) by Max Rashbrooke
    When I was a child, I remember often complaining, as all children do, that certain things weren’t fair. My exasperated parents must have responded, as all parents do at least once, that life often isn’t fair. But the larger lesson they taught me, across the whole of my upbringing, is that it doesn’t have to be that way. . .
  4. Taxing wealth by Bill Rosenberg
    Wealth is assets. They can be physical like land, buildings, plant and equipment, ‘intangible’ like trademarks, patents, and a firm’s reputation or brand, or financial like a bank account, shares, bonds or other securities. Companies and people own assets because they hope to get future benefits from them whether as income or capital gain or non-financial benefits such as having a house to live in. . .
  5. Four tax myths that might pop up this year by Keith Ng
    Myth 1: “40% of households pay no ‘net taxes’”
    Myth 2: The top 10% of taxpayers paying 46% of taxes proves they’re overtaxed
    Myth 3: Bracket creep has reversed the effects of the 2010 tax cuts
    Myth 4: Tax cuts pay for themselves
  6. Tax and the Social Contract by Bob Stephens
    Contrary to the opinion of the New Right, the payment of tax is a measure of citizenship, of being a member of society. Taxation is not theft of one’s market income, but is the method of payment for the services that government provides. . .
  7. Climate change and tax policy by Paul Young
    For as long as the world has been earnestly attempting to tackle climate change, economists have advocated a price on greenhouse gas emissions as the best way to do it. . .
  8. New Zealand’s tax settings in an international context by Terry Baucher
    During the year ended 30th June 2016, the Government collected nearly $70 billion in tax revenue, or about $14,900 from every person in the country. That sounds like a fair sum of money, but how does New Zealand’s tax burden compare internationally?
  9. Tax and family assistance by Susan St John
    One of the least tractable concepts in tax is that of the effective marginal tax rate (EMTR). The official income tax rate applied to each dollar earned is not the only payment a family will make on that dollar. . .
  10. A light touch on foreign trusts and companies by Shamubeel Eaqub
    New Zealand ranks highly in international rankings of transparency, low corruption and ease of doing business. For the most part, the praise is well deserved. But there are some parts of our rules and regulation that are not as transparent nor as fair as they should be. . .

Let's talk about tax: 10 Perspectives on Tax

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