Thursday, 9 September 2010

Campaign to remove GST from food continues

by Vaughan Gunson
Tax Justice campaign coordinator

By voting down Maori Party MP Rahui Katene’s bill to remove GST from healthy food (see below), National, ACT and United Future have shown themselves to be offside with grassroots sentiment. The majority of New Zealanders think it’s criminal that food, a necessity of life, is made more expensive by this hated tax.

The Tax Justice campaign is circulating a petition which calls on GST to be removed from food and for financial speculation to be taxed instead. 12,000 signatures have been collected since the campaign was launched in late May. And we’re just getting warmed up.

We’re planning to collect many more signatures so that out-of-touch politicians in parliament are forced to listen to the will of the people. That’s what democracy should be about.

On 1-2 October we’re planning a Double Day of nationwide signature collecting for the Tax Justice petition. With GST going up to 15% on 1 October we expect a tremendous response from people who are angry about the escalating cost of living.

It’s good news that the Maori Party wants to continue its opposition to GST on food. The more parties and grassroots organisations working together on this, the more chance we have of achieving success.


Take part in the nationwide Double Day of signature collecting for the Tax Justice petition on 1-2 October.

Contact Vaughan Gunson, the campaign coordinator, right now. Email or ph/txt 021-0415 082.

To download the Tax Justice petition click here.

House rejects bid to remove GST from healthy food

from Radio New Zealand News
9 September

The Maori Party’s attempt to have GST removed from healthy foods was defeated in Parliament on Wednesday night.

A member’s bill in the name of Rahui Katene was rejected by 64 votes to 56, being opposed by the National, ACT and United Future parties.

Ms Katene told Parliament GST hits lower-income earners disproportionately because they spend a higher proportion of their income on food.

She says food prices have risen more than 20% in the past three years but real incomes have risen only slightly.

The Labour Party supported the bill but says that if the Maori Party were serious about removing GST on healthy food, it would not have supported the Government’s Budget, which raised GST to 15%.

The National Party says defining what is healthy is too difficult.

Ms Katene and the other Maori Party MPs say the bill’s defeat is not the end of the issue.

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