Focusing On The Big Picture, Asking The Hard Questions

Soon the election year lolly scramble will begin. Politicians of all stripes will throw out handfuls of the sweets they think people like the most – that will get them the most votes. Nothing wrong with that. No votes no power, after all.

But a good government needs good policies, not just charismatic popular politicians who give the sound bites people want to hear. To avoid Brexit/Trump style disasters, voters need to be a lot more savvy than the politicians that seek to represent them. Continue reading

Three Cheers for Tax and Spend!

Our Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce cries “tax and spend” like it’s a bad thing. But that makes no sense. What other option does a government have?

Tax is virtually the only source of income for our government and is used to pay for the things we all benefit from; the justice system, transport, education, health, social security, science and innovation, trade development, even Mr Joyce’s own salary and that of the departments he is responsible for. Personal taxes provide the largest portion of this income. Continue reading

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.

 

 

A big day for a tiny tax on 22 June

Wednesday 22 June 2011 has been declared a “big day for a tiny tax”, highlighting the need for a worldwide financial transactions tax to curb financial speculation and provide the necessary funds to eradicate poverty and protect the environment.  Continue reading

No GST on food – Join us for launch of tax justice campaign!

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:

Whangarei
8am-10am, Whangarei Growers’ Market, Water Street

Auckland
12noon-3pm, outside Onehunga Supermarket, cnr Church Street & Selwyn Street, Onehunga.

Rotorua
9am-3pm, Rotorua City Focus, Tutanekai Street.

Tauranga
9am-12noon, Chadwick Road (opposite the post office), Greerton.

Wellington
11am-12noon, Lower Hutt Markets, Riverbank carpark.

Christchurch
11am, The Square (next to the chalice).

Dunedin
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 "blueprint for social breakdown"

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.