The Alliance Party is calling for a major overhaul of New Zealand’s taxation system to assist low to middle income earners, and to pay for free access to high quality public goods including health and education. Continue reading
The Alliance Party has congratulated the Labour Party on adopting its capital gains tax policy.
Alliance Party co-leader Kay Murray says Labour should have introduced the capital gains tax during its last term in office.
This may have helped make housing more affordable during the so-called housing boom during the last Labour Government.
Alliance Party Co-Leader and GST off Food Tax Justice campaign co-organiser Kay Murray says the new Mana Party’s Hone Heke financial transactions tax (FTT) is a great idea.
The nationwide campaign to remove GST from food and tax financial speculation is being launched this Saturday 22 May.
That’s two days after National’s budget where a hike in GST to fund tax cuts for the rich was announced.
All supporters of our tax justice campaign are welcome to attend the petition stalls organised by Socialist Worker (www.UNITYblogNZ.com) and the Alliance (www.alliance.org.nz).
Here are the times and venues for this Saturday’s petition stalls:
8am-10am, Whangarei Growers’ Market, Water Street
12noon-3pm, outside Onehunga Supermarket, cnr Church Street & Selwyn Street, Onehunga.
9am-3pm, Rotorua City Focus, Tutanekai Street.
9am-12noon, Chadwick Road (opposite the post office), Greerton.
11am-12noon, Lower Hutt Markets, Riverbank carpark.
11am, The Square (next to the chalice).
10am-12noon, The Octagon.
At the stalls we will be collecting signatures on the tax petition, which has the following wording:
We request Parliament to:
• Remove GST from food.
• Tax financial speculation.
The campaign has a website up and running, ‘No GST on Food’, go to http://www.nogstonfood.org/. Updates on the campaign will be posted there.
National’s budget announced today is pushing New Zealand further down the road of inequality and social breakdown, says the Alliance Party.
Alliance Party spokesperson Victor Billot says the budget achieved two key goals for National: redistributing wealth from the needy to the greedy, and starving social spending.
“For most people, the so-called tax cut will have vanished by the time they get to the end of the first aisle in the supermarket.”
He says that what is most disturbing is the budget gives someone like John Key hundreds of dollars a week extra but leaves the most vulnerable families in New Zealand with nothing.
“The priorities of this National Government are to shovel cash at people like the Prime Minister who will be laughing all the way to his mid winter break in his Hawaii condo.”
“Yet the thousands of struggling families working shift work, long hours, for low pay, get a few coins.”
He says the budget is literally taking food out of the mouths of children from poor families to pay for flash restaurant dinners for CEOs.
“The increase in GST is essentially immoral at a time of mass unemployment, and food and housing costs going through the roof.”
Mr Billot called on the Maori Party to step away from their coalition with National which was permitting this attack.
“If they don’t make a stand now, they will have allowed the most blatant attack on low income communities both Maori and Pakeha to proceed.”
The Alliance has a tax plan that is aimed at creating a balanced and equal society that had a long term future.
Income tax would be heavily reduced on lower incomes, and raised on high incomes, a progressive tax system that would relieve the worst pressures and poverty in New Zealand.
The Alliance would phase out GST and replace it with a Financial Transactions Tax, an increasingly popular alternative.
The Alliance would also introduce a capital gains tax, to tax speculation rather than productive work.
The Alliance Party has joined with Socialist Worker to launch a petition this Saturday 22 May campaigning to remove GST off food and introduce a Financial Transactions Tax.
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.”
For more information and comment contact,
The proposed rise in GST makes the Prime Minister John Key “Robin Hood in reverse” says the Alliance Party, which probably means he is playing the role of the Sheriff of Nottingham – robbing from the poor to help the rich.
Alliance Party spokesperson Victor Billot says an increase on GST to 15% to offset tax cuts for the wealthy is taking money from the pockets of struggling families on the breadline.
The rise in GST will subsidize unaffordable income tax cuts to people such as John Key, and indeed all MPs, whose incomes are far above the average.
Mr Billot says the idea that GST increases are somehow going to encourage savings amongst working people is bamboozling.
“He obviously doesn’t understand the difference between a family struggling to ‘consume’ food, rent and power bills, and a family who are ‘consuming’ unnecessary top end luxuries.”
Mr Billot says amongst the “anti tax” rhetoric there seems to be a lack of appreciation that without taxation, New Zealand and indeed civilization itself, would collapse.
“The great gains in public health, education, welfare, infrastructure and services of the past century have all been funded through taxation, and are now at threat by irresponsible Government’s beholden to powerful private interests.”
The lack of any serious moves on a capital gains tax was also a major failure.
Mr Billot says that major business figures have recently called for capital gains tax and even currency movement taxes, so these policies were quite mainstream.
“However, as National seems to represent the unproductive speculation sector that is whom their policies are helping.”
“What has happened to the affordability of housing under National and Labour in the last few years is a national disgrace, the full effects of which are only beginning to be seen.”
The Alliance proposes a major change in New Zealand’s tax system, phasing out GST and reducing income tax on lower income earners through a stepped progressive tax system.
Progressive income tax would mean higher taxes paid by those who can afford it (such as John Key), a capital gains tax on investment property (not family homes) and also a financial transactions tax on movement of money that would only affect larger transactions.
New Zealand’s lack of controls on company regulation and overseas investment risk turning it into a “third rate Cayman Islands” of unregulated financial deals.
Alliance Economic Development spokesperson Quentin Findlay says allegations that Vanuatu based companies had used New Zealand’s lax companies laws and regulations to establish thousands of dummy corporations were highly concerning, when such activities had been allegedly used for money laundering or arms deals, according to media reports.
He says it is not surprising that these events had taken place given New Zealand’s ‘wild west’ free market approach to finance and investment.
“The lack of adequate regulation and controls allows the creation of dummy companies with little or no scrutiny. This is a result of the deregulation approach which provides little or no protection against bad practices.”
Mr Findlay says it is alarming United States authorities seemed prepared to take action, while those in New Zealand appeared to dither.
“This is an embarrassment to New Zealand.”
Mr Findlay referred to the 2009 case involving the Overseas Investment Office and American firm, Cedenco, where unacceptable practices were ignored.
The Alliance is calling for a thorough review of the Companies Act and related legislation, and for the Government to impose regulations to stop New Zealand’s slide towards a haven for pirate capitalists.
Alliance Party finance spokesperson Professor Jim Flynn says the government has to think outside the square to prevent ordinary New Zealanders losing their houses during the economic crisis because they can’t afford their mortgage payments.
In the wake of the news that in August this year at least 50 families were forced into mortgagee sales of the family home, Professor Flynn says there is a simple solution.
“Rather than have people face mortgage sales, the government should buy the houses off the banks for their rateable value. The bank would be relieved of a ‘toxic’ asset and the government would get something in return for helping the bank.”
The home could then be rented back to the occupiers at perhaps 20% of their income. This would mean people could afford stay in the family home. They are spared the upheaval of trying to find alternative accommodation, which could mean overcrowding, children having to move schools and a loss of social support systems. Continue reading