Regional fuel tax under urgency
Parliament went into urgency on Wednesday evening to speed up progress on the law to allow regional fuel taxes, leading to what National MPS have called a ‘‘dark day for democracy’’.
The bill left the committee stage yesterday and was likely to be read a third time before the session finished.
Urgency allows Parliament to sit for extended hours until a bill is passed.
Unless amended, the leglisation needs to be passed before July 1 – the date it is supposed to come into effect.
The bill allows Auckland Council to add a tax of 11.5 cents a litre on petrol. Other councils have indicated interest in applying a similar tax but the Government has said this would not be allowed during its current term.
The urgency motion was made by Labour’s leader of the House, Chris Hipkins. But soon after, National’s Jami-lee Ross moved that all calls be set to zero in the committee stage. This essentially allows every National MP to speak again on the bill if they want to – up to four times each.
Hipkins responded by adding an amendment to Ross’ motion that would end all debate at the committee stage. He then withdrew that amendment yesterday morning and the motion was predictably voted down.