So, while Labour makes the richest amongst us $1TRILLION DOLLARS RICHER, let’s examine the crumbs they are bribing the rest of us with…
Beneficiaries and low-income earners can breathe a sigh of relief now that a raft of policies putting more money in their pockets has finally arrived.
As of April 1, benefit rates increase by between $20 and $42 per adult per week compared to July last year, while the minimum wage rises from $20 per hour to $21.20, and Working for Families tax credits are bumped up too.
Then in May, the Winter Energy Payment returns until October – $20.46 a week for eligible single people with no dependents and $31.82 a week for couples and people with dependent children.
…what’s never pointed out in this bullshit propaganda is that these increases barely keep up with inflation and for most beneficiaries, the MSD claws back the increases so most will get a few dollars after MSD takes its cut.
The only silver lining is the half priced public transport as that actually bypasses MSD and puts money straight into people’s pockets without MSD taking their cut.
So Labour enrich the richest with $1Trillion dollars and the rest of us get some crumbs and told to be grateful.
Is this the best we can hope for?
Norman Kirk famously said,
“there are four things that matter to people: they have to have somewhere to live, they have to have food to eat, they have to have clothing to wear, and they have to have something to hope for,”
Is this really the best Labour can do in the shadow of those words?
When I set MANA up with Matt McCarten, Hone Harawira, John Minto, Sue Bradford and the incredible Annette Sykes, there was an understanding that at the core of Left wing politics was a need to use the State to materially better everyone.
At the centre of that philosophical core was an understanding that the very tax system itself needed to be reset by taking the burden off the working poor and placing it out upon the wealthy.
MANA argued for a Financial Transaction Tax that would be a base rate on all automated bank transactions, it would raise enough tax to bring GST down to 10% while allowing the first $20 000 to be tax free. The extra revenue would allow for a mass State Housing rebuild plus free public transport plus more money for education and health.
The total tax take from workers would lower while forcing the Banks, Corporates and Speculators to finally pay for their greed.
This is why the Tax debate every fucking election is such a shallow and hollow joke. Labour says blah blah blah and National scream tax cut. They are both fighting over an ever diminishing pie!
It’s the Great NZ Tax Cut Scam that never actually fixes the problem!
We need a radical means to place the yoke of taxation onto those who are causing the most economic damage and greed – the Banks, the Corporates and Speculators!
The true political division in a Capitalist Democracy is not the colour of your skin or gender identity or genital tribalism, it’s between the 1% richest, their 9% enablers and the 90% rest of us!
Labour must think big on funding universal provision of services to survive the economic downturn and the new post-Covid reality in a climate warming world!
To fund these big services we need a new tax system. A Financial Transaction Tax penalises those who are the greediest while funding the services that benefit everyone.
-Affordable Housing – Stop speculators using existing property to borrow for more loans by increasing the deposit the more property they have.
-Free Public Transport: Rather than welfare increases that the cruel and insidious MSD clawback, put money back into the pockets of the poorest with free public transport, while reducing climate pollution AND making roads more free for those who need to use them. Free Public Transport would make voters care.
-Free Dental Services: Our lack of free Dental is a disgraceful outcome of free market neoliberalism over public health.
-Free Breakfast and lunches in all schools: Again, rather than welfare increases that the cruel and insidious MSD clawback, put money back into the pockets of the poorest with free Breakfasts and Lunches at school. With inflation and mortgage rates soaring even the children of the middle classes will benefit.
-Legalise Cannabis: FFS, it generates half a billion in revenue and justice system savings, just do it for Christ’s sakes you gutless wonders!
-50 000 State House Build: Rather than simply trying to fund flawed models of a rigged property market built for speculators, do mass State Housing builds for only State House tenants and owner occupiers with rent to own options. Build these on Golf Courses we seize back from Auckland and Wellington using the Public Works Act.
-4 day working week in all public services: Build a post growth movement by adopting it in the State sector first. Employ more state servants.
-Basic Pharmaceutical Industry: The continued post Covid world of geopolitical threats demands a level of self sufficiency we are no where close to.
-Tidal Energy Production: Towards our 100% renewable energy target.
-Universal Free Internet: Available through all Churches, Marae, Libraries.
-First $20 000 Tax Free: Most people earn barely $40 000, making the first $20 000 tax free would benefit the poorest first and most.
-Vice Tax on all Gambling, Tobacco & Booze: A special super tax on top of the total tax paid for products that are a blight upon society. Why should the Gambling Booze Vape Barons peddle their harmful products with the barest of responsibility?
-Sugar Tax: The Big Sugar Drug Dealers have been allowed to sell their highly addictive drugs directly to market with no penalty for too long. Time too pay punks.
-Remove GST from fresh fruit and vegetables: Make healthier choices cheaper, works best with a sugar tax.
-30% Stake-hold in Supermarket Duopoly: The broken market is creating a million dollars additional profit each day to the Duopoly. Fuck them. A new supermarket chain will reduce cost and voters need to see that in an inflation explosion.
A Financial Transaction Tax, Sugar Tax and a taxed Cannabis Market could fund new services, old services PLUS take the tax take off the poorest and put it on the richest.
It’s time to be radical.
Before Putin invaded the Ukraine, global grain production had already plummeted in 2022 due to massive climate crisis global droughts impacting harvests and interrupting the agricultural calendar.
Russia & Ukraine produce 12% of all globally traded calories and the shut down of exports and war damage to farms has devastated food and fertilizer production which will trigger food riots throughout the Middle East and South America.
I’ve been arguing that our inflation will hit double digits by December because we are grossly underestimating the Apocalyptic impact of global War, Famine, Pestilence and Death.
There is an amalgamation of crises that are rushing together pushing the planet into a steep economic recession. Since 2008 the central banks have printed 25 Trillion to keep the Ponzi scheme from collapsing and that has artificially created the lowest interest rate in 5000 years.
The unwinding of that kind of pressure surely is going to be the event horizon of a Debt Black Hole?
A climate crisis that exacerbates an economic crisis that exacerbates a war crisis that exacerbates a pandemic crisis requires a peoples budget.
We need to be far kinder to individuals and far crueller to corporations.
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