18 July 2010
The debate around Rahui Katene’s private members bill to remove GST from healthy food needs to be broadened. That’s the message from Tax Justice campaigners.
“We need to address the core injustices in New Zealand’s tax system,” says Vaughan Gunson, Tax Justice campaign coordinator. “Grassroots people are forced to stomach GST on food, while something as destructive to the economy as financial speculation goes untaxed,” says Gunson.
The Tax Justice campaign launched on 22 May is proposing a healthy alternative to what’s being served up today.
“We’re advocating that GST be removed from all food,” says Gunson. “This would deliver a tax cut that wouldn’t be unfairly tilted in favour of the rich.”
A family spending $200 a week on food after 1st October will be paying GST of $26.09. Take the GST off food and you’ve got a tax cut more substantial than most people are going to get from National’s tax changes.
“And we’ve got the answer for how we maintain enough tax revenue to properly fund public services,” says Gunson. “We’re saying tax the financial speculators, who are getting away with paying no tax at the moment.”
“A Financial Transactions Tax (FTT) would be the best way to make financial speculators pay tax at the point where their profits are accumulated,” says Gunson. “A small percentage tax on financial transactions would net huge sums from mostly overseas speculators, but also local ones.”
We’ve been taking our message onto the streets with a petition that calls on parliament to:
1. Remove GST from food; and
2. Tax financial speculation.
“The response from people has been terrific. In two months we’ve collected 5,000 signatures,” says Gunson. “We expect the pace of signatures will continue to increase as more people find out about the campaign and offer to help.”
“Grassroots people know New Zealand’s tax system is unfair. The Tax Justice campaign is promoting a doable solution.”
For more information on the campaign, contact:
Tax Justice campaign coordinator
Tax Justice media spokesperson