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Media Statement New Tax Working Group to assist government

8 May 2009

Against the backdrop of a challenging economic and fiscal environment and tax reviews overseas, Finance Minister Bill English and Revenue Minister Peter Dunne today announced the formation of a new Tax Working Group to address key medium-term tax policy challenges facing New Zealand. The Group, initiated jointly by tax policy officials at the Treasury and Inland Revenue, and tax specialists at the Centre for Accounting, Governance and Taxation Research (CAGTR) at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), will be coordinated by the CAGTR.

The Group’s remit is to consider the medium-term direction of the current tax system in a changing global environment and work through the pros and cons of a variety of policy options. Through a series of regular meetings between June and November 2009, and papers prepared by officials or commissioned from tax experts, the Tax Working Group will provide a forum for informed discussion over medium-term tax policy that can feed into advice to Ministers and wider public debates on tax policy. A one-day conference in December 2009 will provide opportunities for discussion around the Group’s conclusions and recommendations. Regular updates on the Group’s work will be available on the Treasury website.

The Group will be chaired by VUW Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Commerce and Administration, Professor Bob Buckle. Private sector and university experts on the Group will include Rob Cameron, Paul Dunne, Arthur Grimes, Rob McLeod, Gareth Morgan, Geof Nightingale, Casey Plunket, John Prebble, Mike Shaw, John Shewan, Mark Weldon and David White.

Welcoming the initiative, Finance Minister Bill English said "a strategic review of the tax system is necessary – particularly in light of the challenges posed by the current economic and fiscal environment and our medium-term goal of a 30 percent top personal tax rate."

Revenue Minister Peter Dunne said there was an opportunity for the group to make a highly useful contribution. “We look forward to considering the interesting ideas that will no doubt emerge from the Tax Working Group.”

ENDS

Contact for Media

Norman Gemmell | Principal Adviser, Tax
Tel: +64 4 917 6193 or (021) 263 5180
norman.gemmell@treasury.govt.nz
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