Govt's Tax Grab Another Slap In The Face For Motorists
Posted: 30-Jun-2020 |

The Government will deliver another slap in the face to motorists when it adds another 4c per litre to the cost of fuel, National's Transport spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

"Motorists are suffering under this Government. The tax hikes it has passed into law amount to a $1.7 billion tax grab, with Aucklanders the hardest hit because of their regional fuel tax.

The Government introduced three years of annual 4c increases to petrol excise duty and road user charges in early 2018, signalling at the time that the revenue would largely be spent a multi-billion dollar light rail line in Auckland.

"Tomorrow's four cent hike will sting the most after this clumsy and incompetent Government axed its shambolic light rail plans last week," Mr Bishop says. "Motorists deserve a break, particularly given the economic pain caused by the Government's lockdown. Now that light rail is dead, tomorrow's fuel tax grab shouldn't happen either.

"The fact this tax grab is going ahead is a clear signal that Labour's plan for the next three years will be to repay the massive debt it's taking on with more tax.

"National believes the tax increase should be deferred until motorists get some quality transport infrastructure in return.

ACT appears to agree

"With New Zealanders experiencing serious economic pain from the lockdown and now a recession, Jacinda Ardern's response is to say: 'Let's tax this'", says ACT Leader David Seymour.

From this week, New Zealanders will pay higher rates on road user charges, petrol taxes and alcohol taxes.

"Only the most economically illiterate Government in New Zealand's history would consider embarking on a $250 million tax grab during a recession a good idea. It is just nuts.

"Jacinda Ardern's view of the economy is this: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidise it.

"Her election strategy is to take even more money from New Zealanders so she can hand it out and have photo ops with multi-million dollar businesses in places like Queenstown.

"But if Labour actually wanted to help hardworking New Zealanders, it would just take less tax from them in the first place.

"Today, I will present a petition to Parliament signed by 16,000 road users asking the Government to pause increases in road user charges until the industry has recovered.

"Truck drivers got New Zealand through the lockdown. Labour is repaying them by hiking road user charges by more than 5 percent or $100 million.

"New Zealanders will also pay $120 million more at the pump through higher petrol taxes.

"The hospitality industry was ravaged by the lockdown. It is forecast to contract by about 8 percent. Businesses are going under and workers are being laid off.

"Labour's response is to take another $30 million from the sector in alcohol taxes.

"Some of these costs will be passed through to Kiwis who enjoy a quiet drink and people who rely on the transport industry, which is just about everyone.

"Now is the worst possible time to increase living costs for New Zealanders.

"Labour has no plan to get the economy moving again. Tax, borrow, spend and hope for a vaccine won't cut it."

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