Sunday, 25 April 2010

We need out-of-parliament campaign in support of Rahui Katene’s bill

by Pat O'Dea

In his post on Red Alert, entitled Spot the Irony, Labour MP Trevor Mallard argues why his party will stand with National and ACT and not support Rahui Katene's bill to remove GST from healthy food.

Trevor Mallard justifies his position by attacking the Maori Party, who because they are in a confidence and supply agreement with National will themselves have to stand with National and ACT two weeks later to raise GST to 15%.

The real irony here, however, is that the Labour Party has basically endorsed the GST increase by admitting that on becoming the government they would probably not repeal it.

Though we may not agree with the Maori Party voting to raise GST, the Labour Party is doubly damned, because as well as refusing to commit to reversing the GST hike, they also oppose removing GST from food, even at the new higher rate. No amount of sophistry and finger pointing by Mallard (or anyone else) can disguise this fact.

Labour Party strategists must know that traditional Labour voters (Maori and Pakeha) will be uncomfortable with this diehard stand in support of GST. So what are Labour's Strategies for getting around this?

Labour has two strategies. Firstly, Goff has said a Labour administration would (instead of lowering GST) consider raising income taxes for people earning over $70 thousand (see But this is just a smokescreen to disguise the fact that the Labour will do just about anything to keep Roger Douglas's GST tax whole and intact.

Goff and the other closet Rogergnomes, know with the certainty of instinct, that any loosening of the GST vice will deligitimise the whole regressive Rogergnomics flat tax regime. If it means having to raise the top and middle tax income tax thresholds so that he can avoid having to tamper with GST, Goff will promise to do that instead.

Labour's other strategy will likely be to ignore and down play Rahui Katene's bill as much as possible. Hoping to avoid any public scrutiny of Labour's own defence of GST.

This is where a public campaign is vital. If rallies and other protest action can be built outside of parliament in support of this bill, then Labour will be exposed as the enemies of flaxroots folk that they accuse the Maori Party of being.

No comments: