Hidden amongst the economic gibberish and taxation terminology is a change to the tax system which will really affect those of us who have to slave for a wage to survive. The proposed changes by the Government — such as changing the amount of GST paid to 15% — can be hard to follow at the best of times.
So let’s have a look at their tax plans in plain english.
The current changes have been called in the name of ‘economic progress’. What this really means is progress for the few. Increasing the GST rate from 12.5% to 15% does not affect the rich nearly as much as the rest of us, despite claims by John Key that the effect will be proportionate. His claim: the rich spend more money than us; therefore they will be giving more money back to the government. Ha! What this really means is the rich can choose to spend more if they want to — their privilege and wealth easily covers their day to day necessities — while the cost of our everyday purchases continues to grow. We don’t have the luxury of choosing to not spend hard-earned cash on food, rent and petrol. And at a time of already high prices and minimal wage increases.
National are also making changes to the way property is taxed. They’ve
rejected a Capital Gains tax, which would have targeted property moguls
and the real estate elite, and combined with other changes, would have freed up ten billion dollars for things like social services. Instead, they’ve decided to protect their own interests and of those in power by bumping up the GST, which will raise a total of, wait for it…. 3 billion. Yet even these changes are being fought by the ruling class — there’s already talk of raising rents to cover the cost — to cover their losses in order to keep making a profit.
It’s pretty easy to see that ‘economic progress’ is double-speak for an
economy geared to serve those in power. In short, a Capitalist economy
which degrades, destroys and dehumanises our very existence. So, what’s the alternative? As anarchists, we want to see an economy that serves our real interests, and not those of the elite few at the top. We want a system of living that serves HUMAN needs, not ‘capitalist economics’ — a system of distribution based on real, tangible need, not production for production’s sake. Consumption should take priority — free of money, taxes and privilege that continue to serve the few and keep the rest of us in poverty.
If the economy does not meet the needs of all of us, then it is failing. A capitalist economy — with it’s wasteful production, unequal balance of privilege, and drudgery of wage slavery — can not, and will never, meet the needs of us all. It’s failed again and again. It’s failing now. It’s time for a radical change, not a few patch ups which end up making living harder for us.
As workers — as those who produce the things we all need to survive and
live — we should have a direct say in the way the things we make are used. This is called self-management. If we controlled our workplaces, our communities, free of government and state control, free of money, taxes and Capitalism, we would have an anarchist communist society that serves our needs, and not the greed of a few.
What’s needed is the refusal to accept these changes and to fight back, together, with the strength we hold as producers. Without our brain and our muscle, not a single wheel would turn. Not one. Not even the wheels of the tax machine destined to drive us into poverty.