Maori Party budget ultimatum: no GST on water from 1 November
Not so much bottled water - as the container it comes in is where the cost is; but take the GST off reticulated water - publicly supplied/delivered water. The GST could still apply, perhaps, on the other component charges: the maintenance and the works to provide it; but take the GST off the actual water itself - and the wastewater. This could apply to all classes of water - for irrigation, industrial use etc. As water becomes viewed as a commodity a removal of GST from it would be something that should be done as early as possible to remind us it is a necessity that should not be taxed by the Crown.
This is the sort of position I would expect the Maori Party to be negotiating with the Finance Minister if, if, the Nats want to raise the sales tax by 20%. And getting GST taken off local Council rates - or at least the uniform general charge - is something I would expect the Act Party to be negotiating on their side to help their mates: the property owners.
These positions go to the core values of each party: for the Maori Party it makes the basic necessity of survival a bit cheaper - and giving water the same tax-free status that gold enjoys indicates the unique status of this natural resource; for Act a deal to exempt rates would be the end to an unfair tax on a tax.
I do hope that the two support parties are using their leverage here and are putting up some firm options to ameliorate a 12.5% to 15% rise in GST. The Nats can't get their budget through without at least one of these parties backing them and they have every right to gain at least one concession each on something that is unlikely to be reversed (despite what Labour's "Axe the Tax" campaign might lead people to believe).