Yet another proposed tax from the government that said no new taxes:
Eugenie Sage’s proposed six-fold increase in the levy rate for landfills will not only cost households more but lead to more illegal dumping, National’s Environment spokesperson Scott Simpson says.
The plan was a key policy in the Government’s Waste Discussion Document released today.
“The proposal will have perverse outcomes on both the environment and New Zealanders’ back pockets,” Mr Simpson says.
“Fly tipping is already a huge problem in New Zealand, and knee jerk price hikes like this will only make it worse.
“Sadly people will realise it’s cheaper and easier to dump their rubbish over a bank or into the bush rather than paying the exorbitant fee to use their local tip.
Most mornings I walk along roads bordering our farm and each time I come across odd bits of rubbish – usually bottles and food wrapping – that has been thrown from car windows. Fortunately there are no banks or bush on my usual route to encourage fly-tipping but every now and then I venture further afield and it’s not unusual to find rubbish that ought to have been taken to a tip.
“People in some parts of the country are already paying close to $200 per tonne at their landfill. This will only drive the price even higher.
“Meanwhile expanding the number of landfills to which the levy applies is a belated follow-through on plans National had already announced in Government.
“Eugenie Sage should be investigating practical ways of addressing our waste problem like waste to energy systems used in other countries. Instead she seems happy to indulge her ideological preferences and hit the tax button.”
The Taxpayers’ Union points out this tax will hit the poor hardest:
. . .Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “Like any levy, this will be a regressive tax hike, with a disproportionate impact on the budgets of large households in the country’s poorest suburbs. If it brings in the forecast $220 million, that’s a tax hike of $120 per Kiwi household, per year.”
“This is yet another painful tax hike that betrays the Government’s claims of compassion for the poor.”
“Meanwhile, the beneficiaries of this proposal will be the businesses taking handouts from the poorly managed Waste Minimisation Fund, and the local councils that get a revenue boost. No wonder they’re supporting it.”
“Earlier this year the Tax Working Group pointed out that increasing the rubbish tax will cause a spike in illegal dumping. Even the Green Party should agree that it’s better for old mattresses to end up in the tip than dumped on the road or riverside.”
Waste to energy systems would be a much better idea than another tax, especially as this one is starting at the wrong end of the problem – hitting the people who have to get rid of rubbish rather than those who create waste in the first place.
Take bananas as a small example – they grown in bunches with their own protective covering. Why do supermarkets find it necessary to put them in plastic bags? It’s the businesses that put them in bags who cause the problem, not the people who buy the fruit and are left with the unwanted bags.