The government’s new freshwater laws, signed off this week, have the potential to create significant unnecessary costs for ratepayers, farmers and entire communities, Federated Farmers says.
Allen says while the pledge to consult with those affected if Labour is part of the new government is appreciated, farmers need information before the election.
“Surely at least they have a starting figure in mind, to open negotiations with water users and to give voters a clue on the quantum of tax they envisage.
“Ten cents a litre has been suggested for exporters of bottled water, which has been contested as a thousand times exaggerated for the royalty that might apply to large commercial users. So what is the figure?” Allen says.
Federated Farmers is strongly opposed to a water royalty when it would essentially be an extra tax on electricity, food and exports.
“If the problem is with bottled water, then let’s just fix that problem.”