Thursday, 3 March 2011

Tax the speculators to help rebuild Christchurch

Tax Justice media release
3 March 2011

“Now more than ever New Zealand needs Tax Justice,” says Vaughan Gunson, Tax Justice campaign coordinator. “We must place a tax on financial speculation to help pay for the rebuilding of Christchurch, rather than cut government spending on essential public services.”

Taxing financial speculation is one of the demands on the Tax Justice petition, along with removing GST from food, which has been signed by over 25,000 New Zealanders.

“The Christchurch earthquake is a devastating blow to the people of that city,” says Gunson, “but that suffering must not be spread to the rest of the country. How we fund the rebuilding of Christchurch will have a long term impact on the well-being of millions of ordinary New Zealanders.”

The Tax Justice campaign calls on all political parties represented in parliament to put serious consideration into the implementation of a tax on financial speculation.

“A Financial Transaction Tax on speculative money flows could potentially raise billions from banks, overseas hedge funds and wealthy corporates operating in New Zealand,” says Gunson. “Treasury officials with access to the relevant information need to be told to investigate how much a Financial Transaction Tax could raise.”

“Financial speculation adds nothing to the New Zealand economy, and is carried out by mega-wealthy individuals and institutions whose only goal is windfall profits – tax them to rebuild Christchurch,” says Gunson.

The tax agenda of John Key’s National government has been to shift the tax burden on to grassroots people, by putting GST up to 15% and giving tax cuts to the rich, including lowering company tax from 30% to 28%, one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the world.

Mr Gunson says that National’s tax agenda, if continued in the wake of the Christchurch earthquake, will heap pain on top of pain for ordinary people.

The Tax Justice campaign supports calls for National’s 2010 tax cuts, which overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy, to be reversed. Removing GST from food would deliver immediate budget relief to struggling low and middle income earners.

For more information on the Tax Justice campaign go to

For comment, contact:

Vaughan Gunson
Tax Justice campaign coordinator
(09)433 8897
021-0415 082

Kay Murray
Tax Justice spokesperson
021-1672 843

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