Launch of nationwide campaign for tax justice

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Hello friends,
The Alliance Party(www.alliance.org.nz)and Socialist Worker(www.UNITYblogNZ.com)are jointly launching a nationwide tax campaign on Saturday 22 May.
The campaign will champion tax changes of benefit to grassroots New Zealanders. The focus will be a non-CIR petition sponsored by bothSocialist Worker andthe Alliance Party, which requests parliament to:
1. Remove GST from food.
2. Tax financial speculation.
These two demands will address injustices in the current tax system. Grassroots people have to pay tax on one of lifes necessities, food, while financial speculation goes untaxed. These injustices will be made worse when the National government this week delivers its 2010 Budget, where GST will almost certainly be increased to 15%.
The GST hike will compound the pain at the supermarket where food prices are already shooting upwards, driven by international speculation in the necessities of life. The budgets of grassroots New Zealanders will be stretched to breaking point. In this context we expect the petition demands to be very popular.
Targeting neoliberalism
GST is a regressive tax that has strong support within corporate, banking and government circles. And unrestrained financialisation has become the central pillar of neoliberal capitalism and the source of an escalating proportion of the profits made by the worlds super-rich over the last few decades.
The one-two counterpunch contained in the tax petition, to (1) remove GST from food, and (2) tax financial speculation, hits the heart of neoliberalism. The petition will be an important mobilising tool in the strategic struggle around tax policy in New Zealand, with the grassroots facing-off against those who continue to promote the neoliberal agenda.
Taxing financial speculation through the introduction of a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) would easily fund the removal of GST on food. At the same time an FTT would help discourage financial speculation, which destabilises the economy and causes untold harm to ordinary people, as the global financial crisis has proven.
How you can help
Socialist Worker and the Alliance Party are extending an open invite to other individuals and groups to support our tax campaign, which launches on Saturday 22 May, two days after National’s budget.
The most obvious way that you can help is to collect signatures for the petition. The Alliance Party andSocialist Workerwill widely distribute copies of our tax petition to everyone who wants to help.
Numbers are going to count. The more signatures we get, the more chance we have of building enough campaign momentum to connect with multitudes of New Zealanders and thus increase the pressure for fundamental changes in government policies.
As our campaign grows, more opportunities may well emerge for wider cooperation among the broad left around tax justice and many other issues. We’d like to get your feedback and hear your ideas.
In solidarity,
Vaughan Gunson (Socialist Worker)
and
Victor Billot (Alliance Party)
For more information contact:
Vaughan Gunson
Campaign coordinator
(09)433 8897
021-0415 082
Victor Billot
Media spokesperson
021-482 219

1 COMMENT

  1. Successful launch of tax justice campaign

    The tax petition to remove GST from food and tax financial speculation was well received at the campaign launch on Saturday. The numbers tell the story, with nearly 900 signatures collected at the 7 petition stalls organised around the country.

    The totals for each region were:

    Whangarei, 116

    Auckland, 300

    Rotorua, 173

    Tauranga, 132

    Wellington, 35

    Christchurch, 80

    Dunedin, 26

    Alliance Party and Socialist Worker members worked together on the stalls in Auckland and Christchurch. The Dunedin stall was organised by the Alliance. Socialist Worker members anchored the rest of stalls, with some help from individual supporters.

    The stall in Auckland outside the Onehunga supermarket was particularly successful, with nearly 300 signatures collected over three hours. A dozen people from Socialist Worker and the Alliance Party participated on the stall. There are plans to organise more joint stalls at big events in Auckland, like Warriors games.

    Distributing UNITY leaflets and petition

    A good take up of Socialist Worker’s UNITY leaflet with the headline “Food cost will soar!” was reported. This leaflet and all future UNITY leaflets will include a copy of the tax petition on the back. One gauge of how well the campaign is connecting with grassroots people will be how many completed petition sheets we receive back. It’s important at future stalls that we have our leaflets available and encourage people to collect signatures from their friends, family and workmates.

    Numbers matter

    A steady stream of positive feedback on the campaign, and evidence from Saturday’s stalls, suggests that the petition and its demands are going to connect with the majority of people. Over the next few weeks and months the thing that’s going to matter most is numbers. The more signatures we collect the more chance we have of encouraging others from the broad left to actively support the campaign. Likewise, if we start to record really good numbers of signatures local and national media will be more likely to pay attention. Ongoing media coverage will be essential.

    So we need to get out on the streets collecting as many signatures as we can. Please let me know the details of upcoming stalls organised in your region.

    And feed reports back to me of how you got on, that way we can all share in what works.

    A reminder to send all completed petition sheets and Socialist Worker membership forms to me at this address:

    Vaughan Gunson

    71A George Street

    Hikurangi

    Whangarei

    Happy campaigning for tax justice!

    In solidarity,

    Vaughan Gunson

    09)433 8897

    021-0415 082

    svpl@xtra.co.nz

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