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Maritime Union backing Tax Justice at petition handover

Maritime Union backing Tax Justice at petition handover

The Maritime Union will be among official campaign supporters attending the handover of the Tax Justice petition at Parliament Buildings tomorrow Tuesday 16 August 2011.

The Tax Justice campaign has collected nearly 40 000 signatures for its petition to remove GST from food and introduce a Financial Transactions Tax (FTT).

Maritime Union General Secretary Joe Fleetwood says the union was the first to officially back the Tax Justice campaign, but has been joined by several other major unions.

He says the goal of taking GST off food is a urgent necessity for the wellbeing of New Zealand workers and families.

"GST was always a bad tax, it was bad when it was introduced in the 1980s and it has been made worse when it was put up to 15% by John Key."

Mr Fleetwood says that with inflation running ahead of wage increases, and major hikes in the cost of basics like food, there needs to be some relief for hard pressed working New Zealanders.

"We have seen recent reports that the wealth of a tiny minority of the richest New Zealanders has surged ahead in the last few years, while the majority are going backwards."

Mr Fleetwood says the union is supportive of a financial transactions tax that would provide the income to remove GST on food.

He says that around the world, people are questioning why major finance institutions have been bailed out by taxpayers money, while the majority of workers are under attack from unemployment, low wages and so-called "austerity measures."

"Where is the austerity for the very rich?"

"What the tax justice campaign is about is taking the tax burden off those who are struggling to feed their children and putting it back on those who can afford to pay."

Mr Fleetwood says the Maritime Union congratulates the Tax Justice campaign for running a successful grassroots campaign to build support for a fairer tax system.

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