A new Bill from National would relieve Aucklanders and New Zealanders facing higher fuel prices, National’s Transport spokesperson Jami-Lee Ross says.
The Bill would remove the Auckland regional fuel tax and remove the ability for the Government to roll such taxes out across New Zealand.
“In Auckland, motorists are facing record high fuel prices with further increases just around the corner.,” says Ross, the MP for Botany.
“A combination of the falling Kiwi dollar, international movements and an already soaring level of fuel taxes has meant many Aucklanders are seeing the highest fuel prices ever.
“Now is not the time to add new taxes like Transport Minister Phil Twyford is intent on doing – instead we need to be looking at minimising the impact fuel prices are having on the cost of living.”
Ross says the Auckland regional fuel tax is driving up the cost of living with the most vulnerable being shouldered with the heaviest share of the tax.
“The Auckland Council’s own Maori Statutory Board estimated low-income Aucklanders could end up paying over $400 per year in added fuel costs,” he says.
“Mayor Goff promised to find savings in the Auckland Council’s budget that would have more than covered the revenue of the regional fuel tax.
Ross says the Government needs to help drive down the costs facing Kiwi families instead of looking to add even more taxes.
“That’s what this Bill seeks to do.”
ACT Leader David Seymour says National’s campaign against fuel taxes is a bit rich given Steven Joyce and Gerry Brownlee raised the level of fuel excise in 2009 and 2012, and Simon Bridges was considering further increases prior to the election.
However he says the Bill does have the potential for positive outcomes for New Zealanders, but needs to go further.
“National should also adopt ACT’s policy to use GST revenue from local building projects to fund the infrastructure that goes with it – that’s around $1.5 billion more every year,” he says.
“There’s no point in having the highway that ends in a congested suburb. Rather than adding new taxes to hardworking New Zealanders, central government should share the GST from new construction with local government so councils can build infrastructure.”