The first legislation passed after the so-called wellbeing Budget is to legislate for an extra $360 million worth of fuel taxes over two years, National’s Transport spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

 

“We didn’t hear too much about this in the Budget, but these fuel taxes place a huge additional burden on Kiwi families. Prices at the pump are at some of the highest we’ve seen in years.

 

“The extra fuel taxes swamp any benefit to be gained from the potential handouts of the budget. This Government gives with one hand and takes more with the other.

 

“More galling is the fact that motorists are getting less for all the extra taxes they are paying. The Labour, Greens, NZ First Government has cancelled, delayed or gutted a dozen major transport projects – such as the East West Link, a decent road north of Tauranga, south from Christchurch and in many other places.

 

“Meantime, the new projects they promised, such as the slow tram down Dominion Road, are nowhere near even the development of a business case.

 

“They get to pay more fuel taxes so that the Government can find new ways to frustrate them out of their cars, with their primary focus on ‘mode shift’ – code for getting people out of their cars and on to their bike or public transport.

 

“The result is a hole in progress on reducing congestion.”

 

However, according to Labour:

 

Our plan places major emphasis on three main areas: road safety, regional transport, and urban traffic congestion. We’re doubling how much is going into road safety, and increasing road police by 14%.

 

We’re also doubling how much is invested in roads in the regions, and including more funding for much-overdue rail upgrades and maintenance. And we’re getting our cities moving, with a number of road projects. We’re also investing in making it easier and safer to walk, cycle or use public transport.

 

Instead of focusing on just a few roads [as per the previous Government], we’re spreading out our investment across the country, making key, strategic improvements to existing roads, and investing in public transport and road safety.

 

We're also increasing fuel excise to fund this plan.

 

National has regularly criticised this increase as if it is some kind of "new tax". The reality, however, is that fuel excise increases are actually routine in government. In fact, National increased fuel excise seven times over their nine years. A total of 17 cents a litre.

 

Ultimately,  it’s business as usual – and certainly not a “new tax.”

 

In addition to the excise, the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) will also increase their share of costs for important regional projects – which means councils can get more investment in their regions without asking more of ratepayers.

Posted on Thursday 6th June 2019

Wellbeing Budget not good for drivers?

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