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Why New Zealanders are backing no GST on food campaign

Why New Zealanders are backing no GST on food campaign

15 August 2011

A petition signed by 40 000 New Zealanders asking for GST to be removed from food will be presented at Parliament at noon tomorrow Tuesday 16 August 2011.

The petition also requests that a financial transactions tax – sometimes referred to as a "Robin Hood Tax" or "Hone Heke Tax" – be introduced, which would cover the cost of removing GST from food.

Tax Justice campaign spokesperson and Alliance Party co-leader Kay Murray says the petition has struck a chord with New Zealanders.

"The majority of New Zealander's are struggling with stagnant wages but hefty increases in the cost of living. Removing GST from food would help the majority of people in New Zealand."

Ms Murray says many people are questioning why in a food producing country like New Zealand, basic food items are becoming too expensive for many working families, superannuitants and beneficiaries.

Many people are struggling to feed their families yet the National Government's income tax cuts have only delivered for the wealthy.

That goes against traditional New Zealand ideas of fairness, says Ms Murray.

Some of the comments posted by people signing the online version of the Tax Justice campaign include:

"It’s [GST] wrong, it’s unfair and it’s making those less well off unable to feed themselves or their families properly."

“It makes absolutely no sense to force the poorest percentile of our population to pay more tax to compensate for the tax cuts that the richest percentile has benefited from. We can expect that such measures will lead to increased poverty and as a result increased crime and destitution. Is that the sort of country we want to live in?”

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"The entire monetary and economic system needs a complete rethink, this is a great start."

“Great campaign. I’m all for it, I don’t know how some people are surviving."

See more comments at

40,000 petition signatures have been collected calling for GST to be removed from food and a tax placed on financial speculation instead.

The Tax Justice petition will be received on the steps of Parliament by Su’a William Sio, the Labour MP for Mangere, who will be presenting it to the House.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman and Mana leader Hone Harawira have also confirmed their attendance at the petition handover.

The Tax Justice supporting delegation will include representatives of major New Zealand unions, local Government councillors and political parties.

The Tax Justice campaign is a joint initiative of Socialist Worker and the Alliance Party.


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