Two New Zealands will shortly celebrate Christmas, the poor and the rich. Two recent articles really highlight the differences, the first on food banks:
Mission in action: Christmas rush as tough times bite
Hundreds of families from as far away as Hamilton are queuing at the Auckland City Mission for help to put food on the table this Christmas.
City Missioner Diane Robertson said the queue started at 1am on Monday after word got out on social media that Work and Income staff would be at the mission’s Hobson St offices from this week to process applications for emergency help.
The mission gave out 125 food parcels on Monday, compared with 39 on the first day a similar pre-Christmas Work and Income service opened last year.
It closed when the queue reached 200 families on Tuesday, up from 160 on the second day last year, and expected to feed a further 200 families yesterday. …
Only half of NZ’s most wealthy paying top tax rate
Figures given to ONE News show many of those worth more than $50 million are only paying tax on around $70,000 dollars of annual income.
When the tax man comes knocking, most of us expect to pay our fair share. But some of us can avoid it. Even millionaire Gareth Morgan admits he’s not paying his. “Ah no, definitely not. But that’s the way the tax regime is,” he says.
Inland Revenue monitors 200 New Zealanders worth more than $50 million each. Yet 46.5% of those multi-millionaires earn less than $70,000 a year, meaning they avoid paying the top income tax rate. “The system is so stupid that it allows people to do this,” Mr Morgan says.
Here’s a crazy thought – why not eliminate tax avoidance and use the proceeds to alleviate poverty? According to the OECD the increased economic activity would make us all better off.