The Guardian March 15, 2000


Campaign to Repeal the GST

The Central Committee of the Communist Party at its meeting last weekend 
called for a mass campaign to force the repeal of the GST legislation. It 
said that the GST is an "unfair and regressive tax. Its aim is to transfer 
taxes even more from the wealthy and from big business to the shoulders of 
the working people, students, the unemployed, pensioners and small farmers. 
It will boost the profits of big business while imposing huge compliance 
costs on small businesses, trades people and professionals.

"Let's work together to repeal the GST", said the Party's resolution, while 
calling on all party organisations and every member of the Party to become 
active in the campaign.

"We call on the ALP to declare NOW that, if elected at the next election, 
it will REPEAL THE GST. It is not acceptable that the GST be merely `rolled 
back'. It must be repealed in its entirety", said the Party statement.

What can be done?

*  Step up all forms of party activity  use The Guardian, 
leaflets, bulletins and newsletters, press releases, petitions, letters and 
deputations to members of parliament, letters to newspapers, emails, street 
tables, badge sales, organise meetings for party speakers, etc.

"The development of a mass campaign of action by trade unions and others, 
starting now, could force the repeal of the GST", declared the Central 
Committee resolution.

* Raise the issue in your trade union seeking adoption of policy 
resolutions and a campaign among members to REPEAL THE GST. 

*  Initiate resolutions to go to the ACTU Congress to be held in Wollongong 
in June of this year.

*  Approach ALP members of Parliament and urge a commitment to REPEAL 
THE GST.

* Support and join coalitions also campaigning to repeal the GST.

The legislation was introduced by the Howard Liberal-National Party 
Government with the support of the Australian Democrats in the Senate. It 
could and should have been stopped in the Senate but the Australian 
Democrats ignored the wishes of the Australian people and connived with the 
Coalition to make it law. The ALP voted against it.

While calling for the defeat of the GST, the Central Committee supported an 
alternative economic and tax policy. Main points should be:

(a) terminate any form of a general goods and services tax while 
recognising the justification for special taxes on luxury items;

(b) orient the tax system so that the tax rate for high income earners and 
big corporations is increased while the rate for wage and salary earners 
and those on low incomes is lowered; 

(c) close corporate tax avoidance loopholes;

(d) levy normal taxes on profits earned in Australia but sent overseas;

(e) cut back government handouts to the wealthy corporations in the form of 
direct grants and tax concessions;

(f) support and maintain publicly owned enterprises and services;

(g) crackdown on family trusts which are used by high-income earners to 
avoid tax;

(h) raise the tax-free threshold from $5,400 to $13,000 ($250 per week);

(i) ensure that the tax system is simple to operate and transparent;

"REMEMBER, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A FAIR GST", declared the CC 
resolution.

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