Pro-capital gains tax campaigners Tax Justice Aotearoa protest at Parliament

A small group of pro-capital gains tax (CGT) campaigners have taken a stand outside Parliament calling for more fairness in New Zealand's tax system. 

The Tax Justice Aotearoa group launched its campaign for a CGT and a fairer tax system at Parliament on Monday, with signs that read: "Fairness is the Kiwi way."

The campaign has support from the likes of the Public Health Association, Public Service Association, New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services, Equality Network, Council of Trade Unions and Closing the Gap. 

The group launched a petition in support of a CGT, which had gained 471 signatures by 1pm on Monday. It's titled: 'Tell Jacinda we want a capital gains tax'. 

Paul Barber, a policy advisor with the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services, said the campaign represented a group of individuals and organisations with views that "aren't being heard... who support the [CGT] in New Zealand". 

"We're an emerging group, we just formed in August last year, and it's about bringing together the research and the thinking and the people who want to say capital gains is the right thing to do - it's the fair thing for our country."

The campaign is supported by billboards and bus shelter advertising in Wellington, and advertisements in major newspapers. 

Paul Barber.
Paul Barber. Photo credit: Newshub

Barber said the funding comes from members of the group "chipping together our various skills and resources". He said around $15,000 went towards the advertising campaign, which he said had "no public money involved". 

He said he made a mistake speaking on RNZ on Monday morning when he said a taxpayer-funded group was part of the campaign. 

"A lot of what's being done in our group is simply volunteer time - we've had some [communications] support as well and we've also got the policy work from organisations like myself who have been deeply involved in the issues around inequality."

Barber said the issue of CGT is around "fairness", adding it's important to remember that "we're one of the only countries among the wealthy and developed countries in the world that don't have a capital gains tax".

"It's quite normal, it's quite routine in other places, and it delivers important revenue into countries to help fund the services that we need as a country - our education system, our health system, preserving our environment."

Barber said the group was responding to the recommendations made by the Tax Working Group in its report released in February in which a CGT was proposed on land and improvements (except the family home), including shares and business assets.

The Government is set to respond to the recommendations set out in the report this month, after the National Party savaged the proposals, with leader Simon Bridges labelling a CGT an "assault on the Kiwi way of life". 

A Newshub-Reid Research poll found earlier this year that the majority of New Zealanders do not want a CGT, with 54 percent saying "no", and just 32 percent saying "yes."  

Newshub.

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