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The Labour Party’s proposed water tax would hit Gisborne’s economy hard by picking on horticulturalists, viticulturists and farmers says National Candidate for East Coast Anne Tolley.

“From kiwifruit to persimmons, Gisborne’s food production industry is growing rapidly and creating a significant number of jobs in the region. A water tax on the region’s food producers would completely undermine this growth,” says Mrs Tolley.

“On top of that there is no detail in the policy. Labour needs to explain who would get to charge, how much would they charge, and who gets all the money.

“Our growers and farmers are the backbone of our local economy. These are their businesses and livelihoods so they can’t afford this financial uncertainty. It’s not good enough just asking for a blank cheque.

“The true cost of this tax would be borne by hard-working New Zealand families who would pay more for their weekly shop including things like milk, fruit and veges.

“National is working hard to grow Gisborne’s economy. We launched the Tairawhiti Economic Action Plan this year, and invested $150,000 to help fund a horticulture coordinator for the region.

“The last thing we need is a blanket water tax. More taxes will increase living costs, slow down the economy and stop job growth.”

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