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The Labour Party’s proposed water tax would hit regional economies hard by picking on farmers, horticulturalists and wine growers, National Party Campaign Chair Steven Joyce says.

“Regions like Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne, Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury and Otago would be big losers from a policy that taxes water used by food producers that create a lot of the jobs in those regions”, Mr Joyce says.

“On top of that there is no detail in the policy. Labour needs to explain to New Zealanders clearly who would get to charge, how much would they charge, and who gets all the money,” Mr Joyce says. “They are asking for a blank cheque from farmers.

“Given this proposal is another re-heat of one put up three years ago, you’d think they would have had time to work out some of the details by now.

“Or are they just too scared to tell regional New Zealand what it would actually mean.

“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.”

Mr Joyce says that today’s announcement proves once again why Labour have dropped their “fresh approach” slogan. 

“This comes hard on the heels of Labour confirming it would impose a regional fuel tax in Auckland. Two extra taxes in one week shows there is nothing new about this Labour Party. More taxes will increase living costs, slow down the economy and stop job growth,” Mr Joyce says.

“New leader but the same old Labour Party.”

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