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Tax justice campaign launched nationwide

Tax justice campaign launched nationwide on Saturday 22 May

“The 15% GST hike announced in the budget today is unjust,” says Vaughan Gunson, coordinator of a new campaign for tax justice.

“Grassroots people who spend most of their income on the basics of life are now going to be paying more of this horrible tax, while it’s the rich and big corporates who reap the benefits of the tax cuts,” says Gunson.

“The GST increase will increase the pain at the supermarket for grassroots New Zealanders. The weekly budgets of people on low-to-middle incomes are going to be blown to bits," says Gunson.

“In these tough economic times we need to urgently shift the tax burden off grassroots people,” says Gunson. “Removing GST from food would deliver instant and lasting benefits to the majority of us.”

This Saturday 22 May, tax justice campaigners will be out on the streets launching a nationwide tax petition which requests parliament to:

1. Remove GST from food; and
2. Tax financial speculation.
The petition is jointly sponsored by the Alliance Party (www.alliance.org.nz) and Socialist Worker (www.UNITYblogNZ.com).

Gunson says the two demands address the core injustice in the current tax system. “Why should we have to pay tax on one of life’s necessities, food, while financial speculation goes untaxed?”

"The one-two counterpunch contained in the tax petition, to (1) remove GST from food, and (2) tax financial speculation, hits back at the pro-corporate and pro-rich tax policies National is pursuing," says Gunson.

“If we taxed financial speculation by introducing a modest Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) we could easily afford to remove GST from food,” says Gunson. “A FTT would help discourage financial speculation, which destabilises the economy and causes untold harm to ordinary people, as the global financial crisis has proven.”

We expect the response to the petition to be overwhelmingly positive when we hit the streets this weekend. There will be petition stalls in these cities on Saturday 22 May:

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.

ENDS

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