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What do we want for Xmas? GST off food!


What do we want for Xmas? GST off food!


On the weekend before Christmas, Tax Justice campaigners will be out collecting signatures for a petition calling on GST to be taken off food.


Christmas can be a time of great stress for many New Zealanders, as people try to cope with the extra costs that put a strain on already stretched budgets, says Vaughan Gunson, Tax Justice campaign coordinator.

"One of the reasons people will be struggling is the high cost of food. Everybody knows it, everybody's talking about it, but we need solutions, says Gunson.

We're proposing one action that would give some relief at the supermarket: remove the GST tax from all our food.

Tax Justice campaigners will be using a simple flyer to show how much extra we're currently paying for food because of GST (see attached image), then asking people if taking GST off food would make a difference to their weekly budget? Mr Gunson expects the overwhelming response from grassroots New Zealanders to be yes.

Over 20,000 people have so far signed the Tax Justice petition that requests parliament to:

1. Remove GST from food; and
2. Tax financial speculation.

Instead of taxing a necessity of life the Tax Justice campaign is advocating a tax on financial speculation. Currently super-rich speculators, big corporates and banks pay zero tax on their financial wheeling and dealing.

People are outraged when they find out that under New Zealand's tax law financial services are exempted from GST, yet food isn't, says Gunson. Currently there's no effective tax mechanism in New Zealand to net the speculators. That needs to change if we're going to have a fair and just tax system in this country.

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The Tax Justice campaign supports the introduction of a Financial Transaction Tax. A small percentage tax on financial transactions of 1 cent in every dollar would potentially net billions of dollars from overseas and local financial speculators, as well as the banks and big corporates who are skilled at avoiding tax.

The pre-Xmas signature drive for the Tax Justice petition will be taking place around the country on Saturday 18 December and Sunday 19 December.

New Zealanders will also be able to sign the Tax Justice petition online at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/taxjustice/

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