Here's another useful graph (based on 2013 data) from Treasury. While not news it's useful to see the numbers. The gross tax does not include excise on tobacco, alcohol and fuel but referring back to yesterday's table, that equates to an average of $788 in the lowest 4 deciles. Add it in and the statement remains true. The lowest 4 deciles (around 650,000 households) effectively pay no tax:
Deciles are based on household equivalised disposable income minus GST.
Income is equivalised using the Jensen 88 equivalisation scale
Disposable income is total income after (gross) tax and tax credits.
Gross income includes income from all sources including benefits and transfers but before taxes are removed.
Gross Tax includes personal income tax and GST (unless stated otherwise). It does not include excise or other taxes.
Net Tax is Gross Tax minus benefits (including NZ Super and Accommodation Supplement) and tax credits such as Working for Families
Decile 1 includes households with negative reported self-employment income and households living on savings
GST is calculated based on household expenditure on goods and services that incur GST as reported in HES