Friday 1 October 2010

Tax Justice campaign hits the streets, unveils new cartoon

Tax Justice media release
1 October 2010

Tax Justice activists will be hitting the streets over the next few days collecting signatures for a parliamentary petition that calls for GST to be removed from food and a tax placed on financial speculation.

Tax Justice media spokesperson Victor Billot says “The level of interest in the campaign has sky rocketed in the last few days as people start to consider the impact of the GST hike on their already stretched weekly budgets.”

He says people are concerned and angry that income tax cuts are going to the already wealthy, while for most of us the tax cuts will be wiped out by the GST going up to 15% and the coming spike in food prices (see Tax Justice media release, 26 September, Tax cuts will be wiped out by food price bubble)

Members of the public can support the campaign by signing the petition and circulating it to friends, family and workmates. Copies of the petition can be downloaded from

“We’d like people to help us reach our target of 10,000 signatures in two days,” says Mr Billot. “If we can get that many signatures in such a short space of time, it’s because grassroots people are passionate about wanting changes to New Zealand’s current unfair tax system.”

The Facebook page for the campaign has grown rapidly over the last few days, increasing to nearly 4,000 supporters, with no sign of slowing down. See appendix below for a selection of comments made by supporters of the ‘No GST on Food’ Facebook page over the last 24 hours.

Mr Billot says Labour’s new policy to remove GST from fresh fruit and vegetables is a step in the right direction, but GST should be taken off all food. This would deliver a universal tax cut bigger than most people will be getting from the 1st October tax changes.

The Tax Justice petition is raising doable solutions to the current imbalances in the tax system.

Mr Billot says that the idea of a Financial Transactions Tax or "Robin Hood Tax" is becoming increasingly popular around the world.

“A small percentage tax on financial transactions which would easily pay for GST off food, thus allowing the tax burden to be shifted off ordinary people and on to large financial institutions.”

To coincide with our Double Day of signature collecting, 1-2 October, we’re unveiling our new Tax Justice cartoon. The cartoon will be used widely in publicity in the coming weeks and months. It is available to be reproduced in print and digital publications.

For more comment, contact

Victor Billot
Tax Justice media spokesperson
021-482 219

Vaughan Gunson
Tax Justice campaign coordinator
021-0415 082


A selection of comments made in the last 24 hours on the ‘No GST on Food’ Facebook page:

- damn straight NO GST on food! we pay enough taxes and shit that goes to government...they go on about how nzealandrz eat too much bad food! well drop the pricing on the healthy food........on all food FULL STOP! this must change.

- totally immoral that a basic human need is taxed. can't believe kiwi's lay back and take it.

- I agree that the gst should be dropped from certain foods, or the children and the elderly will suffer. If Australia can do it why cant we?

- It’s all about robbing the poor to feed the rich!! .. gezz im sorry john key does your 6 figure salary not cover all your costs !!

-We pay tax on our income why pay more tax on everything else we shouldnt have to pay tax after they take it out of our wages thats enuff

-No GST on food is a good start even better abolish GST altogether. Let the rich pay a tax on money speculation. It wouldn't hurt them and will help the workers a lot.

-the bastard that invented GST should be shot

-Why is it that everything just keeps going up except wonder people are going over 2 auz 2 live.we need food, so I hope this no gst on food comes through 4 us all.

-I'm really worried about our food bill from tomorrow. It's bad enough already!

-What’s the saying, the poor get poorer and the rich get richer. They need to give and take in some areas. Think NO GST on food would be a good start.

-The Richer get Richer and the Poor get Poorer.....Where’s Robin Hood whenya need him lol Seriously I know that Tax has been around for a Long time but why not increase it on Luxury items and leave the everyday living costs alone

-they complain about obesity being a huge problem...maybe if food was cheaper to buy then fastfood then we wont have the problem...NOO NOO NOO to GST on food

- Unfortunately the with the tax changes and gst hikes the poorer will get poorer and the rich will get richer.

-I support no GST on food. We are told taking GST off of food items is too complicated. I say rubbish to that reasoning. Everything has a UPC code or label and computer software could do it quite easily. Other countries do it, so why is it so hard for New Zealand? Let's all stand together and say, "enough is enough".

-The fact we have GST on food is quite disgraceful. We in NZ need to rise up as a ground swell to have this tax removed. We cannot think of ourselves as a nation of people who care about each others' welfare while we make the most basic need more expensive than necessary. Come on people, get with the play and object.

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