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Public consultation on Auckland’s regional fuel tax shows more people oppose it than support it - and that was before they were slammed with a surprise second fuel tax hike, National’s Transport spokesperson Jami-Lee Ross says.

“The Government and Auckland Council have tried to justify their extraordinary raid on the back-pockets of hardworking New Zealanders by claiming more Aucklanders support the tax than oppose it, but they jumped the gun.

“With consultation on the Council’s regional fuel tax now closed, 48 per cent of the almost 21,000 people who submitted oppose it, while 46 per cent support it.

“This is a reversal of the preliminary numbers the Council released to try and justify its new tax, when it said 50 per cent were in support and 41 per cent opposed.

“What should make the Government and Council really take notice is the opposition doesn’t even take into account the fact that Aucklanders have since been told they’ll be paying two new taxes after being blindsided by the Government’s massive national fuel tax hike.

“Combined they’ll add a total of around 25 cents per litre to the cost of fuel in Auckland, as opposed to the 11.5 cents they were consulted on.

“This is an extraordinary raid on the back-pockets of hard-working Aucklanders and most of it is to pay for a multi-billion tram to the airport.

“We know this because the Government has just re-announced National’s Auckland transport package but confirmed it will tax Aucklanders an extra 25 cents a litre of fuel to deliver its half-planned, half-funded multi-billion dollar tram to the Airport.

“Under Labour, Aucklanders will be paying hundreds of dollars a year more in fuel taxes but getting fewer new roads, with billions diverted to a tram from the CBD to the Airport.

“Regional New Zealand is being caned too, with more than $5 billion ripped out of state highway funding so more cash can be diverted to Auckland and the tram. The Government won’t need a poll to tell it how the regions are feeling about that.

“Opposition to the Government’s double tax is clearly growing and Transport Minister Phil Twyford needs to rethink his tax and spend plans for the city.”

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