Notify me

Sign up to be informed about FOE activities, and receive our newsletter.

* indicates required

Don't worry; we won't abuse your email address. Read our privacy statement.

NZ: Removing GST from healthy food

A private members Bill from the Maori Party’s Rahui Katene, calling for GST to be removed from healthy food, was drawn from the Ballot on 22 April.  The  Bill is likely to get its first reading in Parliament soon.  It was top of the Order Paper – Members’ Orders of the Day –  on 24 August. 

The Bill  is unlikely to pass the first reading vote and go to the Health Select Committee for consultation. To pass, it needs the support of either National or Act as well as other parties.  Prime Minister John Key said the National Party will not support it.

The Labour party is working on the idea and would support the Bill to a select committee. Radio NZ quotes Labour leader Phil Goff as saying the party is finalising its study on the cost implications of scrapping GST on some foods, both for its health benefits and to help families struggling with their bills. And according to the NRB, Labour believes that there is a case to be argued for taking the GST (off) healthy food like fresh fruit and vegetables.

Radio New Zealand has a brief summary of some of the debate

Parliament urged to drop GST on healthy food (Radio NZ, 13 July 2010)

Gordon Campbell argues for removing GST from healthy food

In an opinion piece, Gordon Campbell presents a detailed argument for removing GST from healthy food.  He says this would bring us into line with Australia which has a GST exemption for food and explains how the system works there.

He also looks at an Otago University supermarket study on the effects of removing GST from food.  It found that customers purchased significantly more healthy food.

Read ‘Do the right thing’: Werewolf, April 2010

Read some of the other debate on removing GST from healthy food

‘We won’t support GST removal’ – PM (NZ Herald, 21 July 2010)
GST-free food bill likely to fail (TV3 21 July 2010)
Key rules out GST-free food removal from healthy food(Stuff, 21 July 2010)
Editorial: GST proposal unhealthy for tax base (NZ Herald, 15 July 2010)
Scrapping GST on food not viable – Dunne (NZ Herald, 13 July 2010)
Maori Party bill would remove GST from healthy food (National Business Review, 13 July 2010)
Katene’s GST off healthy food bill gets pulled (Maori Party, 22 April 2010
Food discounts a powerful tool (The Press, 13 July 2010)
Discounts on healthy-food effective – research (TV3, 13 July 2010)
Price, not advice, spurs health food choices: study (NZ Herald, 4 March 2010)

Published on August 23, 2010 in New Zealand news