The budget - funded by workers, controlled by the bosses

June 3, 2008

Jared Phillips reviews some aspects of the 2008 budget and the response to it from a Marxist perspective

The qualification threshold for the top tax bracket has changed from $60,000 to $80,000, which provides some relief for the middle class,which is where Labour draws its support from. The media has seized on the fact that this might help prevent middle-New Zealand’s political migration to National. Those earning an annual $80,000 will have a weekly after-tax increase of $28 in Ocotber. For working people the tax cuts provide little relief. For those earning an annual $20,000- $30,000, after-tax weekly income will increase by $12 in October. Social Issues reporter Simon Collins has noted that in terms of percentage changes, lower income earners are in fact receiving bigger cuts with a 5.7 percent cut at 20,000, a 3.3 percent cut at 50,000, and a 3.6 percent at $80,000. While this percentaging won’t provide any comfort for those living on the hardest incomes and receiving lower dollar-amount tax cuts, it does help illustrate that increased incomes and wages, not tax cuts, have more relevance for the restoration of real incomes, and that this budget has done nothing to lift the abysmal income of beneficiaries.

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Labour’s brightest and best?

May 21, 2008

- Don Franks

As Labour sinks deeper in the polls, political commentators speculate about the party’s future in opposition. Are there any bright spots shining among the ruins? One very promising ‘new talent’, who, according to columnist Matthew Hooton “should go straight to Labour’s front bench”, is Wellington Central candidate Grant Robertson. You can form some opinion about Grant Robertson by taking a look at his blog. Much of this journal is devoted to descriptions of Grant’s busy social life watching rugby and patronising the cafés of the capital.

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Abolish GST

May 4, 2008

The Workers Party for many years has said GST has to go. Below is an article originally published in The Spark in July 2005, in which Philip Ferguson explains why the rich favour this tax and why we oppose it:

In recent months the National Party has been pushing for income tax cuts. Although they present this in a populist way, as if it would benefit workers, they vigorously oppose measures such as raising the minimum wage, serious across-the-board wage rises like those sought by Auckland bus drivers and the abolition of GST.

During the upcoming election campaign, one of the minimum platform points of the Anti-Capitalist Alliance [now called the Workers Party] will be demanding the abolition of GST, something that would be done by any government with even a token desire to make life a little easier for workers, especially the poorest workers.

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A letter to our readers

April 30, 2008

Dear Spark readers and Workers Party supporters,

In the last two years the Workers Party has participated in and supported many campaigns, most notably:

* Against racist detention of Iranian migrants at Mt. Eden prison (taking arrests and legal costs)

* Stop The Killings (in the Philippines) campaign

* Hotel workers unionisation campaign

* Restaurant workers unionisation campaign

* Progressive Distribution Centre workers lockout

* Civil Rights Defence campaign after government raids on Tuhoe and activists

* Box city protests - living allowance for students (Wellington)

* Successful Save the Film School campaign at Victoria (Wellington)

* Campaign against the intervention in Aborigine communities Northern Territory

* Middle-East solidarity campaigns

* Numerous workers strikes and pickets (taking an arrest in Auckland)


We have also:

* Raised working class issues through interventions in local government elections

* Been the only left organisation to produce a monthly socialist publication

* Contributed to the monthly Workers Charter

* Held numerous education forums on topics of importance to the movements of workers and oppressed

* Put our website into an upgrade and initiated a blog

* Maintained healthy links with workers organisations and parties in other countries

* Recruited a number of new party activists

Almost all of these activities have relied totally on WP members donating their own time and hard-earned money.


Now we need your financial support as 2008 is the first time the Workers Party will be standing on the party list in a national general election. Please make a donation in one of the following ways:

* Send cash wrapped in envelope to PO BOX 10-282, Dominion Road, Auckland

* Send a cheque made out to ‘Workers Party’ to POBOX 10-282, Dominion Road, Auckland.

* Transfer money from one of your accounts to 38-9002-0817250-01


Workers Party submission to the Electoral Commission on the distribution of broadcasting monies

April 30, 2008



Main points

1.

The previous allocations of broadcasting monies was designed when there were two parties who were keen to make sure that other new parties could not compete effectively with them. A cartel has previously operated in dividing up the broadcast allocation amongst the parliamentary parties. This has previously given only a few crumbs to the parties outside Parliament. The Workers Party welcomes the change in the configuration of the Electoral Commission when determining broadcast funding.

2.

There is a very strong argument to be made that all parties contesting the list vote should receive exactly the same allocation of funding. Any other allocation is contrary to natural justice and notions of democracy and ‘level playing fields’. This is how other countries divide broadcasting funds.

3.

The Workers Party is a new party with over 550 members. We are about to register with the Electoral Commission and intend to contest the party vote and a number of electorate seats throughout the country.

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Public money to parties should be shared equally says Workers Party

April 30, 2008

Press release

The Workers Party wants public election funds shared equally between parties.

“Other countries such as Japan, Italy, India, Mexico and the Czech Republic have equal fund allocations”, said the party’s national organiser Daphna Whitmore, in a submission to the Electoral Commission. “It’s currently a cartel-like arrangement where Labour and National get the bulk of the funding. All parties contesting the list vote should receive exactly the same allocation of funding” she said.

She noted that the electoral rules are the same for all other parties in respect of the size of deposits and limits on campaign expenditure and so should the funding allocation. She argued favouring National and Labour is contrary to natural justice and notions of democracy and ‘level playing fields’.

At the last elections 62 percent of the $3.2 million public funds went to National and Labour.

Currently the division just gives a few crumbs to the parties outside Parliament.


Workers Party announces its candidate for Wellington Central

March 25, 2008

The Workers Party candidate for the seat of Wellington Central in the 2008 parliamentary election is 59 year-old Rongotai factory hand Don Franks.

“I’m standing in this election because none of the established parties give a stuff about low paid workers” says Franks.

“In a land of plenty, basics like milk and cheese are becoming luxury items. If Labour wanted to implement tax cuts favouring workers, they’d whip the GST off food.

“They’re not likely to do that because they’re a capitalist party who inflicted GST on us in the first place.”

More WP candidates will be announced in the coming weeks. In addition to contesting electorate seats in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch at this election the Workers Party will also be contesting the nationwide party list vote for the first time ever.

For more information or to find out how you can help with our election campaign get in touch with the WP branch in your local area here.