Government releases tax working group details

Cheaper fruit and vegetables could be one result of a wide review of New Zealand's tax rules, after the Government released details about its tax working group on Thursday.

Last year New Zealand households spent $1.8 billion on fresh fruit and veggies, earning $271 million in tax for the government.

But Finance Minister Grant Robertson says his new working group is welcome to look at taking GST off fresh produce.

The brief for the working group is all about one thing - fairer and better balance.

Off the table is:

  • increasing income tax
  • increasing GST
  • inheritance Tax
  • tax on family home or land under it.

What's most definitely on the table is tackling property speculators. The terms of reference put a special focus on all income and assets being treated fairly - with "special regard to housing affordability".

Mr Robertson denies the group is set up for a giant tax grab, and even implied some taxes could be cut.

The group will be headed by Sir Michael Cullen - Finance Minister in the last Labour government, and not a huge shock.

The group will report back to the Government at the beginning of 2019. However Mr Robertson is sticking by Labour's campaign promise that any major tax changes will not be implemented until they take the ideas to the people at the next election.