The ultimate scapegoat: PM blames fruit fly for new tax

The Prime Minister has found the ultimate scapegoat for breaking his promise not to introduce a new tax – the Queensland fruit fly, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says.

“John Key’s first policy upon taking office and assigning himself the tourism portfolio was to remove 100 per cent x-ray screening at our airports to speed up passenger arrivals.

“Since then there have been four fruit fly incursions; there were none while 100 per cent screening was in place.

“However, John Key this morning claimed fruit fly incursions had cost $25 million and was one of the reasons for the new airport tax.

“This is an incredible cost considering the incursion in Whangarei in January 2014 cost $916,000.

“The Government has been playing catch-up on adequately resourcing our biosecurity system ever since it slashed funding and staff back in 2009.

“National is simply trying to transfer the cost of protecting our borders onto travellers rather than funding biosecurity properly.

“As the nursery rhyme goes, an old lady might have once swallowed a fly – but New Zealanders won’t swallow John Key’s latest fairy tale,” Damien O’Connor says.