Friday 23 July 2010

John Key government spins untruth about GST

Tax Justice media release
23 July 2010

Peter Dunne, Revenue Minister in the National-led government has said “it’s not New Zealand's policy to have a non-universal GST.”

“This is not true,” says Vaughan Gunson, Tax Justice campaign coordinator. “GST is not applied universally today. The major exemption is for financial services.”

Inland Revenue lists the following financial services as exempted from GST: dealings with money; certain dealings with securities; provision of credit and loans; provision of life insurance; provision of non-deliverable futures contracts and financial options; the payment and collection of interest, principal and dividends; and issuing securities such as stocks and shares.

“The main users of these financial services are rich investors, speculators, banks and other wealthy corporates,” says Gunson.

“Why is it okay for them to get off paying GST, when grassroots people struggling to make ends meet have to pay tax on food?” asks Gunson. “John Key needs to fess up to the people of New Zealand and admit that our tax system has a rotten core.”

“GST on food makes up a big chunk of the government’s tax revenue, but that could easily be replaced by introducing a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT),” says Gunson.

“A small percentage tax on financial transactions would net billions from rich speculators and wealthy corporates, who are today enjoying a free ride from GST,” says Gunson.

The Tax Justice campaign has been launched to promote a doable solution to New Zealand’s unjust tax system. The focus of our campaign is a petition that calls on parliament to:

1. Remove GST from food; and
2. Tax financial speculation.

“In the last two months we’ve collected 5,000 signatures,” says Gunson. “We’re picking up a lot of anger on the street about the upcoming GST hike, which will stretch the budgets of low-to-middle income people to breaking point,” says Gunson.

“The issue of tax justice for grassroots Kiwis is not going away. We’re confident the campaign is going to get bigger and bigger.”

See Tax Justice media release (18 July): “It’s New Zealand’s tax system that’s unhealthy” says Tax Justice campaign

For more information on the campaign, contact:

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

Victor Billot
Tax Justice media spokesperson
021-482 219

For background on the campaign go to our website

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