The Alliance Party is backing the Robin Hood Tax international day of action on Saturday 29 October 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.
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
40,000 signatures calling for GST to be removed from food and a tax placed on financial speculation instead will be presented to Parliament at 12 noon on Tuesday 16 August. Continue reading
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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Alliance Party Economic Development Spokesperson Quentin Findlay says the Alliance would introduce more direct taxes to make the tax system fairer for the vast majority of New Zealanders.
Mr Findlay was responding to the statements of Prime Minister, John Key who had confirmed that the Government was looking at increasing the level of GST to 15 percent and lowering personal taxation on higher incomes.
“GST is an unfair and regressive tax and increases in GST will hurt lower income workers and beneficiaries regardless of the Government’s statements that they would be compensated.”
Mr Findlay says that people were being misled into believing that by lowering direct taxes and increasing indirect taxes (like GST) that they would be better off.
“People are being told to focus on their PAYE tax and are ignoring the increasing percentage of money that they are paying in indirect taxation like GST. The result is that lower and middle income earners are paying far more in tax and are carrying a far heavier tax burden than they would under a progressive tax system advocated by the Alliance.”
Mr Findlay said that the Alliance believed in a ‘fair’ tax system and that could only be achieved if people paid taxes in proportion to what they earn.
“The first step is to increase the number of taxation bands at the upper level and create a progressive tax system. The second step is to reduce and eventually eliminate taxes like GST which penalise lower and middle income people.”
Mr Findlay said that the Alliance endorsed concepts such as a land tax, a capital gains tax and a financial transaction tax, which could be levied across financial transactions. A Capital Gains tax in particular was common in other democracies, except here in New Zealand.
“The very fact that other Governments such as the UK’s Gordon Brown are considering various types of transaction taxes and has given his support to the Tobin Tax concept is a positive step.”
The Government’s proposals and those of the Taxation Working Group are designed to ensure that speculators and New Zealand’s wealthy do not pay their way and have others pay it for them, Mr Findlay said.
The Alliance believes in a fair tax system and that means making those people pay their way through direct taxes.
For further information contact Alliance Party Economic Development Spokesperson Quentin Findlay on 021 326 443