The Government’s plan to make some vehicles up to $3000 more expensive by taxing their emissions will unfairly penalise people struggling with the cost of living, National’s Associate Transport spokesperson Brett Hudson says.
“Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter has some big questions to answer about how much this scheme will impact farmers and tradies who don’t necessarily have the ability to shift into lower emission vehicles, given suitable options for their lifestyle just don’t exist.
“Popular new imported cars will see a significant price hike. The Toyota LandCruiser will be $3000 more expensive, the Mitsubishi Triton will jump by $2500, the Ford Ranger will be $2750 more and the Toyota Hilux will increase by $2000.
“Hiking the cost of certain vehicles will also impose more costs on some families who still can’t afford to switch to an electric vehicle. The widely-driven Mazda CX-5 will jump by $1500 while the Hyundai Tucson will be an extra $2000.
“This consequence of this could be some people hanging onto older, less safe vehicles for longer than they should.
“National supports greening the country’s vehicle fleet. The previous Government started the country off on this path by setting an ambitious target of having 64,000 new electric vehicles registered in New Zealand by 2021 and introducing incentives to buy electric.
“We were also planning to lead by example through transitioning the Government fleet to electric vehicles. Our policies saw the number of EVs on our roads increase from 1406 in May 2016 to 14,867 in June 2019.
“Vehicle emissions are one of the biggest contributors outside of agriculture, so we need to work on reducing them. But doing so shouldn’t come at the expense of New Zealanders’ wellbeing by increasing the cost of living further.
“Moving to electric vehicles can be done through more positive initiatives rather than telling car owners what they can’t drive and slapping them with new taxes, which is all this Government knows how to do.
“The Government should incentivise rather than penalise Kiwi motorists.”