It’s 14 24 years today since a Goods and Services Tax was first introduced in New Zealand.
It was right in the middle of the ag-sag when every cent mattered so I was among the many who bought things in September to avoid the 10% consumption tax.
I don’t remember rushing to buy anything before GST was increased to 12.5% in 1989 and I haven’t done any extra shopping to beat today’s increase to 15%.
Although I did a pre-GST shop in 1986 I don’t remember noticing sharp price increases from October 1 and do recall some goods reduced in price because the plethora of sales taxes on a variety of goods was replaced by a single, simple GST.
Simplicity was and still is one of our GST’s good points.
That Phil Goff and Labour are prepared to tinker with it and end more than a decade of cross-party support for keeping it that way is a sign of desperation.
It could also be a sign they’ve given up trying to win the next election. That’s easier to believe than the idea that they’re really serious about the suggestion zero rating GST on fruit and vegetables would achieve anything worthwhile.