Revenue generated from Labour’s controversial water levy, touted as a way to clean up polluted waterways, could be used to fund local projects such as roading.
The revelation came during a fiery meet the candidates meeting at Temuka’s RSA, where members of the audience grilled Rangitata’s five electorate hopefuls on water quality and climate change.
Labour candidate Jo Luxton told the crowd that during a recent meeting with Ashburton councillors, the possibility of using the revenue generated for projects such as roading, rather than solely for environmental purposes, was raised.
Labour’s water spokesman, David Parker, was at that meeting, and said he would be open to discussing that possibility, Luxton said.
So they claim the water tax is to raise money to clear un waterways but actually will just be a slush fund for local government.
When contacted on Friday, Parker said revenue would primarily need to be distributed to regional councils to clean up waterways.
However, money left over could be given to local councils, which would “decide what to do with it”, he said.
So a tax on farmers which will go to Councils to spend on whatever they want.