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GST off food petition gains huge support

RAM - Residents Action Movement
Media release 17 April 2008

GST off food petition gains huge support

"In just a couple of days, over 1,000 people have signed our petition to remove the GST tax from all our food," said Grant Morgan, chair of RAM - Residents Action Movement. "At one RAM stall in Mangere, 250 people signed in less than two hours."

"Removing GST from food is the tax cut of most benefit to people struggling to pay the bills. Overnight it would slash every family's food costs by 12.5%. Yet neither National nor Labour, despite promising tax cuts, are talking about removing GST from food. This is an abdication of their duty to care for ordinary people in this country."

"The huge support for our petition shows two things. First, most people are hurting bad. They are facing a terrifying escalation in food prices at the same time as the cost of petrol, electricity, rates and rents is rising, meaning their wages are falling in value. And second, they are cynical about parliamentary politicians. That's shown by their heartfelt criticisms of both Labour and National as they sign our petition," said Grant Morgan.

"RAM will be asking Greypower, the unions, churches, student associations and other grassroots organisations to support our petition. We expect a very good response."

"In a few months, RAM will be presenting the petition to all parties presently represented in parliament. Being election year, it's possible the strength of support for removing GST from food could shift a few politicians our way."

"At the same time as fronting the GST-free food petition, RAM is shifting from being an Auckland-based council ticket to a countrywide broad left party standing for parliament as well as councils. One of our main policy planks is removing GST from food," said Grant Morgan.

"To be legally registered on the list ballot for parliament, a party must have 500 registered members. RAM has signed up over 500 in little more than a month, and we're well on our way to a membership of 1,000."

"If present recruitment trends hold, and we see no reason why they shouldn't, RAM will have 4,000 members by the time of our first national conference in August. That would take RAM into the top five parties in New Zealand in terms of membership, and help us to make a loud noise about GST on food," said Grant Morgan.

ends

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