Oxfam should lose charity status for its 'ideological views' - Taxpayers' Union

News 22/01/2019

The New Zealand Taxpayers' Union has slammed Oxfam for its report on wealth inequality - and proposes the organisation lose its charitable status.

On Monday, Oxfam's report revealed that New Zealand's wealth gap was widening. Using figures taken from the Credit Suisse Wealth Databook and the annual Forbes 'Billionaires List', the report found Graeme Hart and Richard Chandler, the two richest New Zealanders, saw their fortunes grow by $1.1 billion.

But the Taxpayers' Union says the Oxfam report is "fake news" for cherry picking data to help aid a left wing agenda.

Oxfam is a registered charity in New Zealand. Photo: Getty.

The union claims that on contrary, wealth inequality is actually shrinking in New Zealand. 

"It is simply wrong that an organisation that is as political as that and that is as upfront with its political purpose should get charitable status in the same way as genuine charity schemes," said Jordan Williams, executive director of the Taxpayers' Union.

Mr Williams argues that Oxfam should be deregistered as a charity, in the same way that Family First and the Sensible Sentencing Trust are not allowed charity status.

Nevertheless, Oxfam executive director Rachael Le Mesurier maintains that the Oxfam report is an extension of the charity's aim to understand poverty.

"I think it's important that we do approach poverty rather than that sticking plaster approach to just turn up and hand out food baskets," said Rachael Le Mesurier, Oxfam executive director.

"What we are doing is trying to understand what the causes of poverty are."

The Oxfam report suggests the Government is contributing to inequality by under-funding public services like healthcare and education, while under-taxing corporations and the rich.

"It's not dreamed up Oxfam. This is about saying poverty can be changed, it can be challenged, but not with this wealth gap getting bigger and bigger."

The Taxpayers' Union says it will formally request that Oxfam be deregistered as a charity in New Zealand.

Watch the full interviews with Rachael Le Mesurier and Jordan Williams above.

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