29 March 2011
The overriding reason we require integrity from public servants is to strengthen confidence in government. Trustworthy officials promote public trust. That trust enables the State to function effectively. Paying tax is a good measure of effective government, and the extent to which citizens have confidence in it.
Data published by the OECD this month compares the efficiency of GST/VAT collection in a range of countries. New Zealand is identified as having the most efficient system, encompassing 98% of potential revenue. The evaluation in diminishing order is New Zealand, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Canada, Korea, Japan, Austria, Netherlands, Germany, UK, and France. The rating of these countries is not dissimilar to placings in the 2010 TI Corruption Perceptions Index. The 98% efficiency of New Zealand’s GST however is quite different from the effectiveness of its administration.