Nats launch ‘axe fuel tax’ pe­ti­tion

The Northern Advocate - - Nation -

Na­tional has launched a pe­ti­tion to re­peal the Gov­ern­ment’s new fuel taxes to “re­lieve some of the fi­nan­cial pres­sure” on Ki­wis, the party’s leader Si­mon Bridges has said.

“Or­di­nary hard-work­ing Kiwi fam­i­lies don’t need the worry of fig­ur­ing out how they’re go­ing to drive to school or get to the su­per­mar­ket.”

He said this Gov­ern­ment was “pric­ing them out of their cars.”

On Septem­ber 30, a new fuel ex­cise tax of 3.5c a litre came into force.

Trans­port Min­is­ter Phil Twyford said the tax would help pay for ini­tia­tives such as light rail and bet­ter pub­lic trans­port.

“This fund­ing will al­low $5 bil­lion more in­vest­ment in the next decade.

“The al­ter­na­tive is grid­lock in our cities, lost pro­duc­tiv­ity in the re­gions and more deaths on our roads,” Twyford told the Her­ald ear­lier this year.

But Bridges said the cost of the taxes is too high and costs are only go­ing to in­crease as fuel prices climb and the Gov­ern­ment im­poses new taxes.

“The aver­age New Zealand house­hold is now pay­ing $200 a year more in petrol taxes than this time last year and in Auck­land, that fig­ure is $324.”

That’s why Na­tional has launched an “axe the tax” pe­ti­tion call­ing for the Gov­ern­ment to scrap these new fuel taxes, he said.

“The Gov­ern­ment should pro­vide im­me­di­ate relief to New Zealan­ders by can­celling the new fuel taxes it’s im­posed and putting a stop to its plans to add more.”

In 2010, Labour also ran an “axe the tax” cam­paign, lob­by­ing the Gov­ern­ment to re­move the GST from fruit and veges.

On Mon­day, Prime Min­is­ter Jacinda Ardern blamed the petrol com­pa­nies for the high price of fuel, say­ing con­sumers were “be­ing fleeced”.

“I am hugely dis­ap­pointed in the level of price that con­sumers are cur­rently pay­ing at the pump for fuel.”

She said be­tween 2008 and 2017, the mar­gins im­porters were tak­ing for them­selves more than dou­bled from 7 per cent to 16 per cent. But petrol firms fired back, with BP blam­ing the higher prices on the Gov­ern­ment’s taxes.

Si­mon Bridges

Phil Twyford

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