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'Tax is love' - Green Party leaders want to see taxes increased to build fairer NZ

The Green Party says if they’re elected to Government in the election, they want to build a fairer New Zealand. 

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Co-leaders Marama Davidson and James Shaw say all New Zealanders should be able to lead decent lives. Source: Q+A

It comes as the party announced its policy platform yesterday which covered its vision for fairer communities, a healthier environment and a cleaner economy. They also launched their new campaign slogan for September: “Whakaarohia te anamata, think ahead”. 

Speaking on TVNZ1’s Q+A this morning, co-leaders Marama Davidson and James Shaw said they were proud of the work they’d done while in Government over the past three years. 

“We’ve made more progress on climate change than the last 30 years of Governments combined,” Mr Shaw said.

Yesterday at their campaign launch, the Greens said they would rather return to Government without NZ First.

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There was no mention of NZ First at their launch after the parties locked horns earlier this week. Source: 1 NEWS

NZ First leader Winston Peters had previously claimed his party was a “handbrake” for unsound ideas around the Cabinet table.

Speaking about being in coalition with NZ First today, Mr Shaw said there had been times they had experienced “very frustrating” moments in the coalition Government.

He said there were policies the Greens had developed which looked to get over the line, only for it to be pulled at the last minute.

However, Ms Davidson said with the Greens in Government, progressive policies, like the $400 million home ownership scheme announced on Friday, were able to get over the line.

The policy vision document released yesterday also included issues the coalition partners have already disagreed on this year such as cameras on commercial fishing boats and a tax on gas-guzzling cars. 

Green Party proposes clean energy plan, focusing on 'fossil fuel free Aotearoa'

Mr Shaw said the policies included in the document, like their poverty action plan and their clean energy plan, would be priorities for them to enter into a coalition Government this year. 

With the poverty action plan intending to increase taxes for the top six per cent of the wealthiest New Zealanders, Mr Shaw said the Green Party was just being transparent about the amount of spending required to recover from Covid-19. 

“You’ve got to go into this election talking about revenue. I don’t think it’s credible not to,” he said.

Host Jack Tame asked whether some of the policies included in their policy platform document, like a Minister of Animal Welfare, were “nice-to-haves” rather than necessities given the scale of economic downturn that may come following the pandemic.

Ms Davidson said the additional spending had Covid-19 in mind.

“We have an opportunity to re-imagine an Aotearoa that does take better care of all of our people, not just a few, and our planet and our living systems.”

She said people were increasingly starting to realise the issue of inequality that propped up the few in expense of the many.

“Tax is love,” Ms Davidson said. 

“Tax is about making sure that everyone has enough to live, that we’ve got the public services.”

She said people needed to realise there was enough wealth to go around to fix issues like poverty and inequality. 

Ms Davidson said people from all economic backgrounds were beginning to realise “it is in all of our interests to make sure everyone has enough to live decent lives”.