Answers needed on GST

Listener Live has a running account of last night’s Meet The Press programme with Phil Goff and hosted by Barry Soper.  The show itself isn’t online, but it sounds like there was an interesting exchange with Goff on Labour’s GST promise.

“9.00pm: It had to happen at some point. Barry Soper has fruit and veges in his arms. He holds a lettuce aloft, in plastic wrapper. Yes, that is a fresh vegetable, and won’t attract GST under Labour’s plans to remove the tax from fresh fruit and vegetables, says Goff. No, it doesn’t apply to cafes and restaurants, he says.

But the lettuce has a mayonnaise sachet, says Small. “I think you’re making this much more complicated than it is.”

From this exchange it’s clear the GST policy hasn’t moved on at all from when Labour announced it months ago.  Phil Goff hasn’t delivered any of the details he promised he’d give us.  Months ago on Breakfast, he said he’d have to be sure the cost of veges would come down 15% and he’d have to be certain about the compliance costs.  He still doesn’t have either.

Back in May 2010 – he said is was all very straightforward and “anything processed will not be exempt.”

Does he have the answers?

After months trying to sell this policy I expected Goff would be able to give us a few more details of how this new tax exemption might work in practice.  Labour will need another expert panel.

So is the mayonnaise GST free or not?  And why doesn’t it apply to cafes and restaurants?

Why is Labour proposing to have zero GST in imported asparagus but full GST on frozen vegetables? If the reason behind their strage GST policy is for supposed health benefits then why not GST frozen vegetables.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

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