Thursday, 2 October 2008

Target the 'greedy speculators' says group taking petition to Parliament

RAM - Residents Action Movement Media release 1 October 2008 Stock exchanges and financial institutions are crashing worldwide despite multi-billion dollar bailouts of the speculators who caused the credit crisis. In New Zealand, finance minister Michael Cullen is flagging an economic stabilisation package, language eerily reminiscent of the 1930's Great Depression. "It looks like Labour's finance guru will give similar handouts to the financiers as conservative politicians are giving them in America, Britain and other countries," said Grant Morgan, chair of RAM - Residents Action Movement. "Why should Mr Cullen be rewarding the speculators whose greed is fueling the crisis that threatens the jobs and incomes of hard-working people who have built this country? That is what you'd expect from National leader John Key, who used to be a high-flier for one of the finance firms that has crashed." "RAM says that Labour is so similar to National that they should be called the LabNats." commented Mr Morgan. RAM is promoting a raft of policies that run counter to what Labour and National are promoting. These include: * 3% state loans to first-home buyers as an alternative to interest-gouging by the banks. * Catch the speculators in the tax net with a Financial Transactions Tax (FTT). * Remove GST from food and plug the tax gap with a FTT. * Make the first $10,000 of each person's income tax-free by raising taxes on the ultra-rich. "We need a people-based economy, not one where the economy dictates to the majority," said Grant Brookes, co-leader of RAM's candidates group and a Wellington Central candidate. "That's why RAM has organised a People's Procession to Parliament, taking our GST-off-food petition to 16 North Island centres over the last fortnight. We are walking the talk on behalf of the grassroots, whereas Mr Cullen is looking after the rich at the expense of everyone else," said Mr Brookes. The petition has been signed by well over 20,000 Kiwis. In a spectacular surge, 800 signed today in central Wellington and another 100 at Upper Hutt. Tomorrow (Thursday) there will be another mass signing of the petition in Wellington at the corner of Cuba and Manners Malls, starting 12 noon. On Friday 3 October the petition will be handed over to Maori Party MP Hone Harawira on the steps of Parliament at 12 noon. "It's fitting that the petition go to the Maori Party because their MPs are the only ones supporting the removal of GST from food," said Mr Morgan, who has organised the People's Procession throughout the North Island. "We want the state to butt out of family dinners and kids school lunches, and instead direct the tax gatherer to look into the bloated bank accounts of the greedy speculators who must take the blame for wrecking the national economy," said Mr Morgan. RAM is standing in the 2008 parliamentary election as a registered list party with 26 list candidates. Eleven electorates will also be contested by RAM in Whangarei, Auckland, Rotorua and Wellington. The current membership of RAM exceeds 3,000, making it bigger on terms of membership that NZ First, Act and United Future. The RAM website is

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