GST off water
There has been a lot of criticism of the Maori Party's attempt, by way of a private members bill, to get "healthy food" exempted from GST. There is - unfortunately - just as much merit in the criticism of the complexity and perverse outcomes the bill would produce as there is merit for the central idea behind it that healthy food should be cheaper than overly processed unhealthy food. For this reason I have suggested that water alone (not even in the bill!) should be exempted. As we can see by the exhaustive Australian list of exemptions - from milk, tea and coffee to penile clamps and everything in between in this part of the list - the system gets very complicated and confusing. The one item that stands out as being very clear however is water:
And I note another code for it here: It appears that bottled water is also exempt:But this must be under another code because there is a tax ruling on water at the ATO which gives more detail, but I suspect this is for reticulated supply issues (it also includes sewerage) and mentions a 100 litre limit:I dare say it can work in this country too - but for reticulated or bulk supplies only to keep it simple and to align it with similar human necessities that are not taxed in NZ, viz: rent.
The next similar class of charge to have removed from the ambit of GST are the Council rates - but that's an Act job.
[UPDATE: A commenter has said that it was United Future - whose sole MP is (always) the Revenue Minister - that had a policy of removing GST from rates in a previous election: "No tax on a tax". I have found nothing on their site to confirm that this is still their policy however, they seem to be silent on it. But it definitely seems to have been a policy. A private members bill from his own caucus member was put up on this exact issue. And this question from another UF MP in 2004:Where's the love now? What's the point of being the Revenue Minister if you can't even implement your own party's commonsense policies that specifically relate to Revenue? What is the point of Peter Dunne? --]
The Crown's budget is delivered on the 20th of May. If GST does go up to 15% there must be some trade-offs for the support parties that are bound to vote for it.