Ross: Aucklanders won’t forgive Labour for new fuel tax

Today’s decision by the Labour Government and the Labour Mayor to whack Aucklanders with a new regional fuel tax will not be forgiven by Aucklanders already facing record fuel prices and rising living costs, National’s Transport spokesperson Jami-Lee Ross says.

“Aucklanders will not forgive this decision and they certainly won’t forget it every time it costs them more to fill up their cars,” Mr Ross says.

“The public made it clear in Auckland Council’s consultation they don’t want a regional fuel tax with strengthening opposition to the tax over the last few months.

“The most recent consultation showed 51 per cent of Aucklanders oppose the regional fuel tax.

“This builds on the 58 per cent of New Zealanders who oppose the Government’s fuel tax plans, and the 89 per cent of submitters who opposed this new tax at the Select Committee.

“This new tax is not needed. If Auckland Council simply followed through on Mayor Goff’s promise to find between 3-6 per cent of savings in the Council’s budget they could easily find the money that the fuel tax would raise.

“Instead, Auckland Council has been given the ‘tax and spend’ keys by Transport Minister Phil Twyford and hard-working New Zealanders will be paying the cost.

“Aucklanders will be hit by this new tax and Phil Twyford’s increased national fuel taxes at a time of already record fuel prices.

“The Ministry of Transport has warned that fuel companies are likely to spread the costs of this tax across the country and we’re already seeing signs that this is happening.

“It’s not too late for Phil Twyford to put things right and abandon this extraordinary raid on the back-pockets of New Zealanders.”

Auckland Council today agreed to implement a Regional Fuel Tax, unlocking more than $4 billion of “critical investment” in Auckland’s transport network.

Mayor Phil Goff said: “This is a good day for Auckland. We’ve agreed not only $1.5 billion in extra spending on our transport network, but unlocked more than $4 billion additional investment in transformative transport projects right across Auckland.

“Fixing transport in Auckland is a priority. Without the Regional Fuel Tax we would be able to do little more than fund the operation and renewal of the existing transport system and projects which have already been committed to.

“To raise the equivalent sum through rates would have resulted in an average rates increase of around 13 per cent this year. Alternatively, to do nothing would see Auckland gridlocked in a short period of time.”

  • Auckland Councillor (Howick Ward) Sharon Stewart today voted against introducing a regional fuel tax