When I created MANA with Matt McCarten, Hone Harawira, John Minto, Sue Bradford and the incredible Annette Sykes, it was understood that at the heart of leftist politics was the need to use the state to materially improve everybody.
Central to this philosophical core was the understanding that the tax system itself needed to be reset by easing the burden of the working poor and placing it on the rich.
MANA advocated for a financial transaction tax that would be a base rate on all automated banking transactions, it would increase taxes enough to reduce the GST to 10% while allowing the first $20,000 to be tax exempt . The extra revenue would allow for a massive rebuilding of public housing, free public transport and more money for education and health.
The total tax levy on workers would decline while forcing banks, corporations and speculators to finally pay for their greed.
That’s why the tax debate in every goddamn election is such a superficial and hollow joke. Labor says blah blah blah and the national tax cut screams. They are both fighting for a smaller and smaller cake!
It’s the big New Zealand tax cut scam that never solves the problem!
We need a radical way to place the yoke of taxation on those who cause the most economic damage and greed – banks, corporations and speculators!
The real political divide in a capitalist democracy isn’t the color of your skin or gender identity or genital tribalism, it’s between the top 1%, their 9% enablers, and the remaining 90% of between us !
Work must think big on financing universal service delivery to survive the economic downturn and the new post-Covid reality in a warming world!
To fund these great services, we need a new tax system. A Financial Transaction Tax penalizes the most greedy while financing services that benefit everyone.
-Free public transport: Rather than welfare increases than the cruel and insidious clawback of MSD, put money back in the pockets of the poorest with free public transport, while reducing climate pollution AND making the roads freer for those in need. Free public transport would make voters pay attention.
-Free dental services: Our lack of free dental care is a shameful result of free market neoliberalism on public health.
-Free breakfasts and lunches in all schools: Again, rather than welfare increases than the cruel and insidious recovery of MSD, put money back in the pockets of the poorest with free school breakfasts and lunches. With inflation and soaring mortgage rates, even middle-class children will benefit.
-Legalize cannabis: FFS, it generates half a billion in revenue and savings for the justice system, do it for the love of Christ, gutless wonders!
-30,000 State House Build: Rather than just trying to finance flawed models of a rigged real estate market built for speculators, make massive State Housing builds just for State House tenants and owner occupiers with rent-to-own options . Build them on the golf courses we reclaim from Auckland and Wellington using the Public Works Act.
-4-day working week in all public services: Build a post-growth movement by embracing it first in the state sector. Employ more civil servants.
-Basic pharmaceutical industry: The ongoing post-Covid world of geopolitical threats demands a level of self-sufficiency that we are far from.
-Production of tidal energy: Towards our goal of 100% renewable energy.
-Free Universal Internet: Available in all churches, marae, libraries.
-First $20,000 excluding taxes: Most people earn just $40,000, and making the first $20,000 tax-free would benefit the poorest first and foremost.
-Vice tax on all games of chance, tobacco and alcohol: A special super tax on top of the total tax paid for products that are a scourge on society. Why should the Gambling Booze Vape Barons peddle their harmful products with any responsibility?
– Sugar tax: Big sugar smugglers have been allowed to sell their highly addictive drugs directly to the market without penalty for too long. Time also pays punks.
-Remove the GST on fresh fruits and vegetables: Making healthier choices cheaper works better with a tax on sugar.
-30% stake in Duopole Supermarket: The broken market creates a million dollars in extra profit every day for the Duopoly. Fuck them. A new supermarket chain will cut costs and voters must see this in an explosion of inflation.
A tax on financial transactions, a tax on sugar and a taxed cannabis market could fund new services, old services PLUS take the tax away from the poorest and put it on the wealthiest.
It’s time to be radical.
Because the economy is about to be hammered and the old systems will no longer work.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson admits a tax-free zone for low-income people – like Australia has – would help with the rising cost of living.
TO ANALYSE: The same day as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the end vaccine certificates, QR code scanning and some vaccine mandates, then allowed unlimited size outdoor events without face mask rules, ASB issued a small but consequential memo predicting that household costs could increase by $150 a week this year.
That’s $7800 in increased expenses during the year. It’s a mix of general inflation and rising interest rates – which will likely be increased to combat this rising inflation.
With weekly household spending expected to rise by $150 due to inflation, Finance Minister Grant Robertson reported a further 2.5% increase in the cost of living due to the war in Ukraine.
State media has made no attempt to hide the fact that billions of dollars in funds from global investors have withdrawn from China in recent weeks.
They attributed the outflows – $11.5 billion since the start of March and more – to volatility in global markets, a hawkish US Federal Reserve and the impact of The Russian invasion of Ukraine on global supply chains. A government publication downplayed the seriousness of the situation and speculated that foreign money would return soon.
The sooner we start seeing the 90% versus the 10%, the sooner we can achieve real change.
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