Finance Minister Grant Robertson has said there will be “one or two areas” where the Tax Working Group makes “definitive” statements when it releases its interim report on Thursday.

But he said that the report would mainly be a statement on the “direction of travel”.

“They’re going to outline and scope the issues that we’ve set them in the terms of reference. There are one or two areas where they’ve been quite definitive in what they think but for the most part its the direction of travel,” Robertson said.

It is now understood that the report does not give a concrete recommendation either for or against a capital gains tax. 

Based on the discussion paper released by the group in March, the “one or two areas” could include new or amended taxes related to environment or health, with calls for a sugar tax growing.

Robertson said the terms of reference for the group gave an indication of what would be included. 

“We’ve given this group a fairly clear direction in our terms of reference of the kinds of issues we want them to look at, but we’re not in a position yet to say what their final decisions will be,” Robertson said. 

Labour will use the group’s final report, due in February, to formulate a tax policy for the 2020 election. 

Robertson implied he reserved the right to go against the group’s advice. 

“As with the previous governments they haven’t taken up all of the recommendations of tax working groups,” he said. 

Leave a comment