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The two richest people in New Zealand added an astounding NZ$1.1billion to their fortunes in 2017-2018, while the wealth of the poorest half of the country decreased overall, according to new Oxfam research released today.
The report reveals that the richest 5% of the population collectively owns more wealth than the bottom 90%.
Last week, we revealed that it looks like New Zealand is losing $21 million a year to unfair tax avoidance by four big pharmaceutical companies – Abbott, Merck & Co. (also known as MSD), Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer. Some of you may have seen comments about the way we conducted the research – our methodology. We’ve got a great blog about the methodology from our American colleagues who led the research. But we want to take a slightly different angle, because the comments about our method actually support what we are saying – that if we want an accurate picture of what companies earn and owe we need more publicly available information so that we can use more robust information.
Governments must take five immediate steps to stop corporations and the super-rich cheating poor countries out of over $170 billion in tax revenues every year, said Oxfam today in the wake of the Paradise Papers leak.
Another year, another scandal.
First came #LuxLeaks, then #PanamaPapers. Today, reporters all over the world are covering the Paradise Papers, based on leaked documents from yet another offshore tax firm, showing how international corporations and billionaires hide their fortunes and avoid paying taxes.
The New Zealand Government has a huge opportunity to demonstrate leadership on the global stage in reforming the world's rigged and unjust global tax system, Oxfam said today.
“The Paradise Papers have laid bare the extent to which multinationals and extremely wealthy individuals continue to exploit a broken global system that allows them to avoid paying their fair share of tax.” said Rachael Le Mesurier, Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand.
Online retailer Amazon has received 250 million euros in illegal state aid from Luxembourg, the European Commission said today. This is the fifth high-profile decision on tax deals, like the one between the Irish government and Apple.
In response, Aurore Chardonnet, Oxfam EU policy advisor on inequality and tax, said:
Thankgod Chigizie sits inside his school classroom. His community, Rumuekpe, in Nigeria, was badly destroyed during the conflict among various rival militants and gangs over access to oil money from 2005-2008. Many were killed and displaced, and homes, schools and churches were left in ruins. Photo: George Osodi/Panos for Oxfam America
Newest US tax cut proposal would rig tax rules even further.
In response to the tax plan outline proposed jointly by President Trump and Congressional leaders, Paul O’Brien, Oxfam America’s Vice-President for Policy and Advocacy, made the following statement:
“The tax plan introduced today is a blueprint for increased inequality. There is no doubt that the biggest winners in our global economy are those at the top, and this proposal will skew that even further.