National Party and Auckland Business Chamber are against Fuel Tax and RUC hikes too
Posted: 16-Jun-2020 |

National is reiterating its call for the Government to defer the 4c hike in petrol excise duty and road user charges scheduled for July 1, National's Transport Spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

"There couldn't be a worse time to increase fuel tax. Households and businesses are facing unprecedented economic pain because of Covid-19. The last thing they need is yet another tax hike from the Government.

Labour increased fuel tax on July 1 in 2018 and 2019, plus introduced the Auckland Regional Fuel tax.

"Part of the justification for the three years of fuel tax increases was to pay for Labour's flagship light rail project from the CBD to Auckland Airport The project is in tatters, and is officially "on hold".

"There is no plan, no delivery partner, no business case, no costing, no consents and no route. It is a disaster on a scale with Kiwibuild.

"With the project officially on hold, there is no reason for this fuel tax increase to go ahead. The Government needs to do the right thing and cancel the increase for July 1."

Sentiments re-iterated by Michael Barnett, head of the Auckland Business Chamber.

The Government should abandon or at the very least postpone the 5.3 percent Road User Charge (RUC) due on July 1st.

"With every business fighting for survival from the Covid-19 lockdown, this is not the time to be increasing the cost of fuel," says Michael Barnett, head of the Auckland Business Chamber.

This increase will impact freight companies hard – their tight margins mean that every cent will be passed on. "The cost of diesel is about $1.25/litre. Every time a small truck fills their 100 litre tank the increased cost will be about $12.50 – multiply that by every diesel vehicle and the cost increase runs into millions of dollars.

"Anyone using a diesel vehicle, freight costs and the cost of goods will all face a price increase, and the cost of living must rise, on one estimate cost increases of up to 2% will flow through to everything bought in NZ."

Barnett said that while we need significant investment in infrastructure, an increase in RUC was not the solution especially with the country just starting to rebuild from Covid-19.

The increase in fuel costs undermines not just the road freight industry but every business seeking to reduce costs, and it won't help keep workers in jobs.

"The increased fuel tax cuts across other areas where the Government is giving business good support," said Barnett. He suggested the increase be abandoned or postponed for at least a year while industry recovers from Covid-19.

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