Car­bon tax road train

Truck­ies aren’t expected to es­cape tax-re­lated price rises

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Working Wheels - JAMES STAN­FORD james.stan­ford@cars­guide.com.au

TRUCK­ING op­er­a­tors will be hit by the car­bon tax even though the in­dus­try has been given a two-year buf­fer be­fore it ap­plies di­rectly to them.

This is the view of the Aus­tralian Truck­ing As­so­ci­a­tion, which has been warn­ing its mem­bers to ex­pect in­creased costs to be passed on by sup­pli­ers.

The Gil­lard gov­ern­ment re­lented and ex­cused the truck op­er­a­tors from pay­ing an in­crease in fuel tax un­til July 1, 2014, but the ATA says that won’t stop the car­bon tax from im­pact­ing its mem­bers due to the in­creased cost pres­sures on their sup­pli­ers.

The ATA is­sued a state­ment claim­ing trans­port op­er­a­tions that use cold stores would be af­fected.

‘‘ The tax is likely to have a par­tic­u­larly large im­pact on truck­ing busi­nesses that op­er­ate cold stores, be­cause elec­tric­ity typ­i­cally ac­counts for about 30 per cent of their costs,’’ says ATA chief ex­ec­u­tive Stu­art St Clair.

‘‘ In NSW, elec­tric­ity prices are set to rise 16 per cent on av­er­age, with nine per­cent­age points of the in­crease com­ing from the car­bon tax. Busi­nesses will need to take this cost in­crease into ac­count, as well as the sub­stan­tial in­crease expected in the cost of re­frig­er­ants.’’

He says op­er­a­tors who of­fer road, rail and sea ser­vices will also cop other costs.

‘‘ Truck­ing busi­nesses of­fer­ing in­ter­modal ser­vices will also face cost rises, with Pa­cific Na­tional (rail freight op­er­a­tor) im­pos­ing a 1.34 per cent car­bon cost sur­charge and the Spirit of Tas­ma­nia ferry ser­vice im­pos­ing a 2.04 per cent sur­charge,’’ he says. The car­bon tax, which was in­tro­duced on the first of this month, is not the only cost pres­sure for truck driv­ers.

The fuel tax credit that can be claimed by truck op­er­a­tors also re­duced on the same day, drop­ping from 15.043¢ to 12.643¢ a litre. This means the ef­fec­tive fuel tax paid by truck op­er­a­tors has in­creased 10 per cent, ris­ing from 23.1¢ to 25.5¢ a litre. Trailer reg­is­tra­tion costs have also risen across most states.

Ris­ing costs: There will be no two-year re­prieve for op­er­a­tors

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