Tax justice petition presented at Parliament

Tax justice petition presentation at Parliament, Wellington, 16 August 2011

Representatives of many supporting groups and unions attended the presentation of the Tax Justice petition to take GST off food and introduce a financial transactions tax, at Parliament Buildings in Wellington today.

The petition was received by Labour MP Su’a William Sio, and attended by Green and Mana MPs.

The Tax Justice campaign is a joint initiative of the Alliance Party and Socialist Worker.



Why New Zealanders are backing no GST on food campaign

A petition signed by 40 000 New Zealanders asking for GST to be removed from food will be presented at Parliament at noon tomorrow Tuesday 16 August 2011.

The petition also requests that a financial transactions tax – sometimes referred to as a “Robin Hood Tax” or “Hone Heke Tax” – be introduced, which would cover the cost of removing GST from food. Continue reading

Rail campaign Dunedin meeting attracts positive public response

A public meeting in South Dunedin to support the campaign to build new trains for Auckland in New Zealand workshops attracted around 50 people on Monday 12 July 2010.
The message they heard was that Dunedin people will have to stand up and fight to make this goal a reality, with this years local body elections and next years national elections providing an opportunity to apply political pressure.
Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) Hillside Branch Secretary Les Ingram, who works at Hillside, said an estimated 500 to 1200 extra jobs and nearly $500 million dollars in income were at stake.
“Dunedin cannot afford to let opportunities like this pass it by if we want to provide jobs for local people in the future.”
The RMTU were continuing their campaign and wanted to get across to the public how building rail units locally would provide a massive boost in jobs and income.
The Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ) is supporting the RMTU campaign and MUNZ General Secretary Joe Fleetwood, visiting from Wellington, addressed the meeting on free trade issues.
He told the audience that they needed to get behind the Hillside workers campaign and demand that politicians listen.
He said the push for free trade policies was largely responsible for the situation where jobs were threatened due to unbalanced economic policies.
Both speakers agreed that the notion that New Zealand did not have the expertise to do the rail work was discredited nonsense.
Mr Ingram detailed previous work done at Hillside and his view was backed up by a retired engineer in the audience who recounted the many large scale projects other Dunedin firms have undertaken in the past.
The meeting was chaired by Victor Billot of the Alliance Party who said that highly skilled, high value jobs that would be created through building trains locally were exactly what was needed in New Zealand at the current time.
The approach of the National Government was reprehensible, he said.

Campaign to build trains in New Zealand holds public meeting in Dunedin

The campaign by rail workers to get new trains for Auckland built in New Zealand workshops is pushing ahead with a public meeting to be held in South Dunedin.

The meeting will be held on Monday 12 July at 7.30pm at the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind for Hall on the corner of Hillside Road and Law Street (entrance on Law Street.)

Speakers from two of New Zealand’s leading transport unions will give an update on the campaign and related transport issues, and explain how the public can support the campaign.

Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) National President, Jim Kelly, who works at Hillside, will update the meeting on the RMTU campaign to get the work done locally.

The expertise and equipment needed to undertake this work exists in New Zealand rail workshops in Dunedin and Lower Hutt, he says, but the Government and KiwiRail management want to take the work overseas.

Mr Kelly says New Zealand rail workers are skilled, experienced, and want to do this work.

A large part of the work could be done in workshops like Hillside and would provide an enormous boost for Dunedin’s economy.

The RMTU have gathered thousands of signatures on their campaign petition.

Mr Kelly will be joined by the General Secretary of the Maritime Union of New Zealand, Joe Fleetwood, who will speak on transport issues and the effect of free trade policies.

The RMTU and MUNZ signed a strategic union alliance charter earlier this year and are working together in the transport industry.

The meeting is open to the public and is being hosted by the Alliance Party who are backing the RMTU campaign.

Alliance spokesperson Victor Billot says public pressure is needed to change the irresponsible attitude of the National Government, away from free trade ideology towards maintaining high skilled jobs and industry in New Zealand at a time of high unemployment.