Rodney Hide writes:
Farmers are right to be worried about Labour’s plan to tax water.
The power to tax is the power to destroy and such a tax has the potential to tip a farm from profitability to bust.
Every farmer’s financial circumstance is different and even a modest tax could prove devastating for farmers just starting out, carrying big debt and not having factored in the prospect.
It’s of further concern that Labour leader Jacinda Ardern announced her water tax not at a farmer’s conference but at an Environmental Defence Society Conference.
She promised her Government would take the money from farmers to clean up the nation’s waterways. She no doubt figures there are more townies wanting clean waterways than farmers having to foot the bill. The vote/loss calculation will be in her favour.
Of even more concern is a complete lack of any detail of how much the tax will be, how it will be applied, and what Labour is expecting to raise.
It’s hard to imagine a party heading into election promising, say, to tax cars without declaring what the tax will be or how much is expected to be taken.
Rodney also makes the point that even if they start the tax small, it will inevitably increase over time. Labour generally only increases taxes, and rarely if ever cuts them.
The water tax will put up the price of most fruit and vegetables plus milk, infant formula and much much more.