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The Government has hoodwinked Auckland ratepayers by keeping them in the dark on a second fuel tax hike while public consultation was being carried out on the first, National’s Local Government (Auckland) spokesperson Denise Lee says.

“The Government let Auckland Council go to the public to build support for an 11.5 cent per litre regional fuel tax – but kept its intention to slap them with a second increase within weeks quiet.

“That’s an appalling breach of faith.

“Aucklanders were told they would be paying up to 11.5 cents more per litre on fuel and given the chance to have their say.

“Now, the Government has proposed a nationwide increase, meaning Aucklanders could actually be paying up to 25 cents per litre more. That’s a huge additional cost on Auckland motorists meaning drivers could pay an extra $10 to $15 every time they fill up.

“It’s clear that Auckland Council was kept in the dark and as result they inadvertently mislead Auckland ratepayers on how much more they will be paying at the pump.

“The Government now faces serious questions about its openness and integrity throughout this process and the value it places on public consultation.

“How can we have confidence in this coalition Government when it does not give the public the full context when making such an important decision?

“Council and Government must work closely together to find a solution to Auckland’s transport issues, and this withholding of information undermines the trust in this important relationship.

“Aucklanders are now being asked to double down on these new taxes. They should have been given the full picture before being asked to submit on these changes.”

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