Ozouf calls GST-free fruit and veg 'impossible'
The Treasury Minister says it would be 'impossible' to administer.
Senator Ozouf says that while he is in favour of promoting healthy eating, States members should not make promises in propositions that can not be honoured.
He said Deputy Pitman's proposition was poorly written and cannot realistically be implemented.
This latest attempt to remove GST from food comes just a week after Senator Alan Breckon's proposition to scrap the tax on food and domestic fuel was defeated.
Deputy Pitman wants Health Minister Anne Pryke to draw up a list of healthy foods, for approval by the States. Items on the list would then become GST-free from the 1 January next year.
In her proposition, Deputy Pitman proclaims: "Isn't it finally time that Government listened; admitted that we have got this wrong? Attempts to get basic foodstuffs exempt from this insidious and wholly regressive tax are nothing new. Senator B.E. Shenton tried as recently as October 2007, and Senator S. Syvret tried at length, as long ago as 2006, to secure a wide range of exemptions. Yet, still, this government - or I should say, not enough of this government - are willing to listen."
She went on: "Why?, I ask myself. Is it because the majority of this Assembly do not have the insight, the intelligence or wisdom to see that such taxation is wholly wrong and immoral? No, there are many intelligent men and women in this Assembly, so I do not believe it can be that.
"Is it because the fiscal management under this Council of Ministers and Minister for Treasury and Resources has been so staggeringly inept that we really have no choice; no other recourse; than to tax the very basics of healthy nutrition to keep the wolf from the door?"
In last week's GST exception debate it was stressed by Senator Ozouf that any exemption would lead to additional costs for both retailers and the tax collectors. He also said the most targeted way to shield the least well-off from the tax was to increase welfare allowances.