The Government’s fuel tax increases have needlessly driven up the cost of living and should be repealed immediately, National’s Finance spokesperson Amy Adams says.

“Yesterday Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters tried to defend fuel taxes saying 100 per cent of the hundreds of millions of dollars of fuel taxes being paid by motorists is going to roading infrastructure and maintenance.

“But this simply isn’t true.

“Earlier this year the Government changed the rules on fuel taxes and allocated billions of dollars away from state highways and into rail projects. This means motorists around the country are now paying fuel taxes to fund expensive rail projects and getting fewer new roads.

“This includes the proposed tram project in Auckland which will cost up to $6 billion.

“The problem is that the Government is not just spending fuel taxes on roads, they’re spending fuel taxes on expensive election promises without properly considering alternatives.

“National was committed to investing in major public transport solutions in Auckland without needing to raise new fuel taxes or impose regional fuel taxes.

“Our commitment to protect the public transport route and explore an advanced bus network was credible and much more cost-effective than Labour’s trams.

“NZTA has even advised the Government that other systems will offer the same benefits as trams and can be completed much faster and at a fraction of the cost.

“It is time for the Government to properly consider NZTA’s advice and look for more cost effective solutions that don’t involve ramping up costs on New Zealanders. If other transport options can be utilised the Government should scrap these new fuel taxes immediately.”

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