Ross: PM misleads over fuel taxes

National’s transport spokesman Jami-Lee Ross says the Government needs to stop treating motorists like an ATM and needs to deliver for the regions.

The Prime Minister has repeatedly misled New Zealanders by claiming the previous Government was planning a 20 cent per litre fuel tax hike, as she has tried and failed to sell her Government’s transport plans, National’s Transport spokesperson Jami-Lee Ross claims.

“New Zealanders are about to be whacked by an increase of up to 25 cents a litre – or $15 every time they fill their cars. At the same time the Government is planning to gut regional roading funding so it can pump more cash into trams in Auckland.

“Motorists and communities right around New Zealand are about to be hammered at the petrol pump — yet get fewer new roads — and the Prime Minister’s justification amounts to ‘Well the previous Government was going to charge 20 cents a litre more too’.

“Well that’s bogus.

“The previous Government had committed to new roads right around New Zealand because the National Party understands how important they are to our regions. But while officials had recommended an increase to pay for some of them, we rejected that advice and committed to the projects under existing funding allocations.

“We were very clear on that during the election – the same one where the Prime Minister also promised no new taxes.

“The Prime Minister has also pointed to a 17 cent per litre rise in fuel prices under the previous National Government as justification for her raid on the back pockets of hardworking New Zealanders. That was over nine years.

“Well just six months in she’s announced a hike of up to 25 cents. That includes the proposed new nationwide fuel tax increase and the upcoming Auckland regional fuel tax which could be rolled out to the rest of New Zealand in three years.

“This is just the start and it’s a bad one. The Government needs to stop treating motorists like an ATM and it needs to deliver for our regions.”

Tuesday’s announcement by the Government via their Government Policy Statement will mean Pakuranga residents are hit by not one, but two new taxes on their fuel, says Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown.

“After promising no new taxes during last year’s election campaign Labour is now telling all New Zealanders they could be paying an extra 12 cents a litre on fuel, thanks to a proposed increase in our fuel tax,” says Mr Brown.

“This is particularly bad news for those living in Auckland and in my electorate of Pakuranga, as Auckland Council is likely to impose a regional fuel tax as well, which will mean we could be paying up to $15 more every time we fill up our cars.”

“As if that wasn’t bad enough, we’ve also been told this extra money won’t be used to fund local projects which will benefit Pakuranga motorists like the East-West Link, but instead fund Labour’s light rail obsession. This is great news for the people that use trains in Auckland, but for those of us that use roads every day we’ll be paying more and receiving less.”

“In announcing this tax increase Phil Twyford said he believes Aucklanders will understand the need to pay more for their fuel to fund light rail, but I disagree. I encourage everyone who feels the same to make a submission telling the Government this is unacceptable, and any tax on fuel should only ever be used to improve our road network.”

To make a submission, visit the Ministry of Transport’s website at transport.govt.nz, and search for “GPS 2018”. Submissions close on May 2.