Friday 30 July 2010

Maritime Union urges workers to support the Tax Justice campaign

The following article appeared in the Winter 2010 issue of The Maritimes, magazine of the Maritime Union of New Zealand:

Get GST off food

The Maritime Union of New Zealand has endorsed a new campaign remove GST from food and tax financial speculation.

The Maritimes magazine is urging all workers to support the Tax Justice campaign.

Organizers say GST hits workers on low to middle incomes hard and that is why they want GST taken off food.

Maritime Union of New Zealand General Secretary Joe Fleetwood says the campaign is “an important cause for the working class to get behind.”

Mr Fleetwood says the Maritime Union is the first union to endorse the campaign and would be promoting it to the rest of the Union movement in New Zealand.

The petition kicked off with a national day of action on Saturday 22 May, with nearly 900 signatures collected at the seven petition stalls organised around the country.

Since that time hundreds more signatures have been collected.

The tax justice campaign was launched shortly after the budget was announced in May 2010.

Campaign spokesperson (and Maritimes’ magazine editor) Victor Billot says National’s game plan is to increase GST and give tax breaks to the rich, while attacking government spending on public services.

Mr Billot says rising food prices is hurting people suffering stagnant incomes and job losses.

“Removing GST from food would provide an immediate and lasting benefit.”

Mr Billot says that taking GST off food was affordable if the government was to tax financial speculation.

A modest financial transactions tax that targets large financial institutions is gaining support around the world following the global financial crisis.

He says the Robin Hood Tax‚ campaign in the UK, which is calling for a financial transactions tax to be implemented, is gaining mass support.

The tax justice campaign is a joint campaign by the Alliance Party and Socialist Worker.

More information on the campaign is at the website

How can you help?

Over the next few weeks and months what’s going to matter most is numbers of signatures, says campaign spokesperson Victor Billot.

“The more signatures we collect the more support we’ll attract from individuals and groups. And if we start to record really good numbers of signatures, we’ll be more likely to get local and national media attention, essential for growing the campaign.”

Everyone can help by collecting signatures from friends, family and workmates. Every little effort will count.
You can download copies of the tax petition from the respective websites of the Alliance Party and Socialist Worker.

Or if you want to be sent print copies of the petition directly, contact Victor Billot at email or mobile/txt 021 482 219.

If you would like to help out at tax petition stalls in any centre where we have organisers, get in touch with us.

If we don’t have a local organiser in your centre, you can become the organiser. We can give you some advice and other assistance.

Contact campaign coordinator Vaughan Gunson email or ph/txt 021 0415 082.

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