This report does not paint the full picture of how income is made by New Zealanders. The report’s failure to consider GST and capital gains is a massive weakness. The research also ignores the failure of the New Zealand system to tax wealth, except as rates, unlike most other high-income countries. Without these essential pieces to the puzzle, we cannot fully understand what may be fair or unfair.
Instead, we get fed the same old tired story that the wealthy are paying their fair share – a story that is just not true. The truth is that the wealthiest only pay an effective income tax rate of 12 percent, as opposed to the majority of New Zealanders who pay a rate of up to 31 percent.
We – as organisations that fight for economic justice – are confident this research will be superseded by soon to be released findings from Inland Revenue research that will, for the first time, reveal statistics about actual tax paid by high wealth individuals.