Watties hates Labour tax plan too

If it wasn’t bad enough that?the?public think Phil Goff and Labour’s tax plans are naff, so too does Watties.

A Labour Party proposal to remove GST from fresh fruit and vegetables has come under fire from food processing giant Heinz Wattie’s, and Hawke’s Bay MPs.

Heinz Wattie’s chief operating officer Michael Gibson said the policy sent a strong message that only fresh fruit and vegetables were healthy foods.

“Canned and frozen fruit and vegetables are recognised as nutritionally comparable to fresh equivalents and provide convenient and affordable forms of such important foods,” he said.

Mr Gibson said there were times during the year when canned and frozen products were also cheaper and more convenient than their fresh counterparts.

The policy would also discriminate against local producers, as imported fresh fruit and vegetables would be exempt from GST, but locally-grown frozen and canned products would have tax added.

“As we have already advised Labour MPs, this exclusive GST exemption would have a significant impact on Heinz Wattie’s’ business, which is one of the largest producers of frozen and canned vegetables in Australasia,” Mr Gibson said.

Are Labour’s MPs listening. Appears not.

Napier-based Labour list MP Stuart Nash said the policy would help make healthy choices more affordable.

“It’s dreadful that Tremain and Foss have come out and criticised a policy that will increase the health and wellbeing of many families in Hawke’s Bay,” he said.

Mr Nash said lowering the cost of fresh food would not affect sales of frozen and canned produce, but increase overall fruit and vegetable consumption.

“One of the consequences of this is that people will begin to change their diet and understand that healthy options is the way forward, and that includes frozen vegetables.”

What a load of bollocks Nashy.