In an extraordinary and potentially unprecedented abuse of power, the Government is attempting to impose new taxes on New Zealanders without proper debate, late at night and under cover of Urgency, National’s Shadow Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee says.
“The Government has used Urgency and an amendment to a motion to stop further debate and ram through new laws without proper scrutiny on a matter as important as taking more money off New Zealanders.
“Worse, it’s doing this because of its own incompetence and its inability to carry out a core function of a responsible Government - managing Parliament’s legislative programme.
“And it’s doing so on a Bill which it had already shortened the process for and which it has blatantly failed to win public support for.
“This is not only undemocratic – and potentially unprecedented in the 165 years of New Zealand’s Parliamentary democracy - it is arrogant. The Government is saying to New Zealand that they will be passing new taxes through Parliament by any means possible.
“This is an unpopular and unnecessary new tax which has been sold as applying to Aucklanders only, but which will be rolled out nationwide in a couple of years, adding hundreds of dollars in costs to the average motorist every year.
“What’s deeply disappointing is the Green Party has chosen to support Labour’s move.
“Both parties have again displayed a breath-taking level of hypocrisy. After being opponents of Urgency and champions of democracy in Opposition, they are taking unconstitutional and unprecedented steps in Government, on matters as fundamental as new taxes.
“The Government has stumbled at every hurdle in its attempt to foist its new regional fuel tax on New Zealanders but it has forged ahead.
“It continues to prove it can’t be trusted. It can’t run Parliament, it can’t run itself and it can’t be trusted to act in the best interests of New Zealand.”