Will Hit Vulnerable HardestBy Alan Tristram March 6, 1010
The Labour Party’s ‘Axe the Tax’ bus protesting about a possible GST rise has been greeted by a group of about 45 local people and Labour supporters at Paraparaumu Beach.
The bus is touring New Zealand with Labour MP’s on board to rouse public opinion about the Government’s reported plan to raise GST by 2.5% while cutting income taxes.
She said GST is a regressive tax which will hit those on lowest incomes the hardest—and pointed out that a large percentage of Kapiti people, nearly a quarter, were aged over 65 and were living on fixed incomes. They would lose out, she said.
In the Mana electorate as a whole, nearly 70% of the adults earned $40,000 or less. Only just over 10 per cent earned more than &70,000.
But, she said, it would be the well-off who would benefit under the proposed Government changes to the tax structure.
“At a time when the Government is borrowing hundreds of millions each month, it is promising substantial income tax reductions to the country’s top earners,” she said.
“Most of my constituents on less than the average wage of $48,600 will get crumbs only.”
The bus has carried a changing assortment of Labour MP’s since it left Auckland.
Four were on the bus when it reached the Kapiti Coast after six days visiting more than 30 other centres and travelling nearly 1400 k’s — Jacinda Ardern (Labour List MP); Ashraf Choudhary (List MP);Moana Mackey (List MP); and Grant Robertson (Wellington Central MP).
MP’s Won’t Commit to Future Axing the Tax
Mr Robertson said they had received a remarkable reception over the past few days.
But he and other Labour MP’s refused to be drawn on whether a future Labour Government would rescind any GST increase imposed by the National Government.
“It’s a bit like unscrambling an egg,” Grant Robertson said.“But we will try to establish a fairer tax system and we are going to look at a property tax.”