Labour's Water Tax 'A Food Tax'

New Zealand First continues to question Labour’s ill-conceived water tax as a tax upon production and food.

“Let’s call a spade a spade because this is not a water tax – it’s a production and food tax,” says the Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First and Member of Parliament for Northland.

“Labour may claim that their food tax via water won’t rake in ‘above $500 million’. But where are the calculations and who will ultimately pay – the end user, that is, hard working Kiwi families.

“It also looks like their spokespeople are confused about this. Just two years ago one of them was floating the cost of 10 cents a litre on commercial water use (21 October 2015).

“We know from speaking to a major market gardener, that a charge of $10 a cubic metre – a tenth of what was floated by Labour in 2015 – ends up increasing supermarket vegetable prices by 300%. 

“Even if it was a tenth of that again, that is, $1 a cubic metre, supermarket vegetable prices still go up by 30%.  

“Quite unlike GST, Labour’s production and food tax on water won’t be levied at the checkout but where food is grown. That inflates what families ultimately pay for bread, milk, meat, fruit and vegetables while swelling the GST take, ironically, due to higher food prices.

“Whatever Labour plans, it surely must know the grand total of the amount of tax.  This is an election campaign period and people are entitled to know what the tax is before they vote and not after,” says Mr Peters.