The Government’s obsession with fuel taxes shows it doesn’t care about the cost of living for ordinary Kiwis, National’s Transport spokesperson Jami-Lee Ross says.

“Now is the time for solutions to the cost of living, not new taxes. National is taking the initiative with a bill lodged today to repeal regional fuel taxes within three months.

“Fuel prices are sitting at record levels across the country and are set to rise further because the Government is proposing three additional rounds of national fuel tax increases totalling an extra 12 cents a litre of fuel in new taxes.

“In addition, there is an 11.5 cents a litre regional fuel tax in place in Auckland that will be rolled to other regions in a few short years. It adds to this Government’s sorry record of driving up costs for households and businesses and choking economic growth.

“Road Transport Forum NZ chief Ken Shirley is exactly right in calling the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax ‘a political sham’ that will be felt across the country. 

“The Government needs to explain how more taxes help New Zealand’s growth and international competitiveness.

"This week, the average price of fuel in New Zealand was $2.39 a litre, while in Australia it’s $1.59 (converted to NZD). That means Kiwis are now paying 80 cents more for every litre of fuel and the main reason is tax.

"According to MBIE data, every litre of fuel sold in New Zealand includes $1.27 of tax (made up of emissions trading costs, petrol taxes and GST) – 52 per cent of the pump price. In Australia, excise taxes are closer to 40 cents a litre.

“With forecasts showing a further weakening in the New Zealand dollar, pump prices will rise further. Milford Asset Management has predicted the Kiwi could drop to 60 US cents from around 67 cents currently, which would add about 9 cents a litre.

“National’s transport strategy doesn’t include more taxes.

“We were committed to completing our $12 billion Roads of National Significance projects through our regions and embarking on our $10 billion next generation of roads in regions that are crying out for that investment.

"We don’t need new taxes. We need a Government willing to focus on growing our economy and lowering our cost of living. That’s National’s strategy.”

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