It isn’t a Water Tax, it is a Water Price.
Farmers and their mates in the National Party have been quick to label any charge on water a ‘tax’, and claim it will push up the cost of everything from a glass of water to milk or even beer. They are wrong on all counts; pricing water would not only raise revenue to clean up our waterways, but if managed well would actually be good for our economy.
Labour’s plan to charge for water was met with hysterical squeals from farmers and commercial water users. Apparently farmers will go broke and apples will cost $2.80 each. It is of course all complete poppycock.
The battle lines are becoming clear for this election. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the establishment party politicians don’t want to scare the cows amongst the farming lobby. Yet new research shows that if we do it right, the cost of cleaner fresh water won’t be as great as many think in terms of reduced farm profit. So what are they afraid of?