Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Unnecessary raid on our wallets

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The Auckland Council has now voted to open their final stage of consultation on the proposed Regional Fuel Tax for Auckland. If this is passed it will mean that Aucklanders will be paying up to 25 cents more per litre of petrol because of planned increases in the national fuel tax as well.

This is an unnecessary raid on Aucklanders wallets I’m calling for Aucklanders to push back against this proposal by emailing: akhaveyoursay@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz
by 14 May with their reasons for opposition.

National has always said the Auckland Council should tighten its own belt before asking Aucklanders to pay more tax and there is plenty of room to find savings. Auckland Council’s spending has risen by about $800 million over the past four years, their staffing budget alone has risen by 23 per cent.

If Mayor Goff delivered on his pledge to find savings of between three and six percent, he could have found the same money the tax would raise. The regional fuel tax is projected to bring in about $150 million, this equals only a four percent reduction in spending by Auckland Council. The Council needs to deliver on its promises instead of taxing hard-working Aucklanders.

National has a plan to fund Auckland’s transport needs without needing new taxes.

We would build on the record $32 billion invested into transport and infrastructure in Budget 2017 to help fund key infrastructure projects.

We were already progressing projects like the City Rail Link, the East-West-Link, Mill Road, Penlink, the Northern Busway extension, and improvements to the Western Ring Route and we would have funded the full Mill Road upgrade as a state highway, reducing the burden on Auckland ratepayers by $500 million and freeing up that funding for other local projects.

The major difference we have is that we believe that the planned multi-billion dollar tram-set to the Airport is expensive and unnecessary at this time. We would have used that funding to help support more cost-effective projects across Auckland.

Auckland doesn’t need more taxes to get moving, it needs a government focused on delivering major projects to allow people to get around their communities and to work easier. If you agree, I urge you to submit against this unnecessary tax by emailing akhaveyoursay@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

  • Jami- Lee Ross is MP for Botany

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