So the minimum wage is to increase by about $1 an hour each year to 2021. That’s approximately $2080 a year for a full time worker. Not exactly winning Lotto. It’s hard to see how anyone could object to that. Yet already there are claims that it will lead to job losses and worse. Continue reading
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.
The campaign will champion tax changes that will benefit grassroots New Zealanders.
The campaign will be built around a petition sponsored by both the Alliance Party and Socialist Worker, which requests parliament to:
1. Remove GST from food; and
2. Tax financial speculation.
“These two demands will address imbalances in the tax system, which sees grassroots people having to pay tax on one of life’s necessities, food, while financial speculation goes untaxed,” says campaign coordinator Vaughan Gunson.
“This imbalance will be made worse when the National government delivers the 2010 budget, where GST will almost certainly be increased to 15%,” says Gunson.
“Our campaign will be launched at street petition stalls around the country just two days after the budget announcement, we can expect a lot of support,” says Gunson. “The majority of New Zealanders believe taxing food is wrong.”
“Taxing financial speculation through the introduction of a small percentage Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) would easily fund the removal of GST on food,” says Gunson. “At the same time an FTT would help discourage financial speculation, which destabilises the economy and causes untold harm to ordinary people, as the global financial crisis has proven.”
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The Alliance Party has called for GST on food to be scrapped – and the entire tax to be phased out.
Alliance Party co-leader Kay Murray says “GST on food will have to go now if basic food items are to remain affordable for New Zealanders.”
Ms Murray says that figures from the Council of Trade Unions show food prices rose 6% in the past year and are set to continue to rise this year.
“Removing GST would at least allow some breathing space while other long term measures are put in place to keep food affordable. Australia doesn’t have GST on basic food items. If the Australians can manage it surely we can too.” Continue reading