The NZTA has announced that it’s going to delay implementation of new charges to collect Road User Charges, but the charges themselves start on July 1, as originally planned, ensuring there is no loss of (new) revenue (see Diesel Industry News, page 39).
For those who pay Road User Charges for operating diesel vehicles – and let’s face it, this means just about everybody either directly or indirectly, for the cost of these charges has to be recovered by the transport operators who deliver just about everything we consume, from our food through to the machinery and tools used in your businesses – this is probably a good thing, as the new admin fees are higher than before, even if you “do-it-yourself” by paying online.
This decision to increase the admin charges, which, by the way, has still to be ratified by the Cabinet, is invidious, and just highlights that once more the transport sector is being used as the “milk cow” to prop up other government spending, while at the same time our roads continue to deteriorate.
The whole Road User Charges thing is stupid, and increasing the administration charges just shows what a dinosaur it has become.
Yes, I know roads have to be repaired, and we all know that heavy trucks do far more damage than light vehicles. I once heard a figure of 40,000 cars for every heavy truck, but I don’t know how accurate this is.
But it’s not just our problem, it’s a global one, and most of the rest of the world uses a simple formula – pay at the pump. That way, the more diesel you use, the more you pay. As a result, those vehicles which are light and fuel-efficient, such as modern diesel cars and SUVs, will pay less than heavy trucks which use a lot more fuel.
And the payment will take place on a ratio which is more-or-less determined by the distance they drive, just as Road User Charges are. Of course, it’s a very simple tax (for that’s what it is, whatever fancy name you call it) to administer.
At the same time there’ll be no need for armies of uniformed traffic wardens and cops to check you’ve got the right RUC sticker on your vehicle, and no fines to pay!