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Left parties should come together on tax policy

Tax Justice media release 17 August 2011

“Left parties should come together on tax policy,” says Tax Justice

40,000 signatures calling for GST to be removed from food and a tax placed on financial speculation instead was presented to Parliament yesterday.

“We’d like to thank all the New Zealanders who signed the petition,” says Vaughan Gunson, Tax Justice campaign coordinator. “And particularly the hundreds of people throughout the country who took the time to collect 5, 10 or 20 signatures from friends, family and workmates, and posted them in to us.”

“We know that 40,000 signatures only represents the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how Kiwis feel about having a tax on their food,” say Gunson. “Calls for GST to be removed from all food are not going to go away.”

“Taking GST off food would give immediate relief to people being forced to scrimp on quality food,” says Gunson.

“The foregone tax revenue could easily be replaced by taxing financial speculation, which is currently untaxed.”

Mr Gunson says that one of the heartening things to come from the petition presentation has been the attention given to the idea of introducing a Financial Transaction Tax.

“A small percentage Financial Transaction Tax applied to financial markets is the only mechanism which can make speculators pay the tax they should be,” says Gunson. “In the wake of the global financial crisis it’s only just that banks, hedge funds, and other speculators be made to pay.”

“Tax Justice would like to see the parties of the left come together on tax policy and present a clear alternative to National’s tax largesse for the rich,” says Gunson. “GST off food and a tax on the unpopular activities of filthy-rich speculators should be the basis for common ground.”

“A broad coalition that brings together left parties inside and outside of Parliament, along with unions and other grassroots organisations, is what Tax Justice campaigners will be working for,” says Gunson.


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