PACER Plus could erode social services in Pacific says CTU

New Zealand's Council of Trade Unions said removal of trade tariffs in the Pacific would take away an important source of funding for social services.

The CTU secretary Sam Huggard presented evidence to New Zealand Parliament's Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade select committee.

Mr Huggard examined the progress on the PACER-Plus trade agreement.

He said taxes on goods from Australia and New Zealand support health, education and social services, for which there are few alternatives.

"One of those would be a consumer tax like a GST or a VAT, and in the end those taxes hit the poor much stronger than they hit people who are well-off."

"So, if a primary way of raising money is going to be one that negatively impacts on poor then that's not something we could ever support."


Photo: CTU Sam Huggard