Thursday, 19 March 2020

ACT calls on Government to cancel 2020 petrol tax increase

ACT Leader David Seymour is calling on the Government to cancel the petrol tax increase due to take effect on 1 July.

“It would be irresponsible for the Government to continue with its planned petrol tax increase this year”, says Mr Seymour.

“New Zealanders will be doing it tough in the coming months. A recession and significant job losses are predicted as a result of decisions taken to protect Kiwis from COVID-19.

“Taking an extra $100 million out of the pockets of motorists is not the right move at this time. The additional tax equates to about $50 per household.

“The Transport Minister said in Parliament this afternoon that he’s concerned about the costs faced by consumers so won’t increase petrol taxes for the next three years, but will proceed will this year’s increase. That is completely illogical in the current situation.

“Phil Twyford has also announced this morning that government agencies won’t increase fees on airlines for 12 months. If the Government is prepared to freeze fee increases for airlines, why not do the same for motorists?

“It’s welcome news that no further petrol tax increases are proposed in the Draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport released this morning.

“But that does nothing to ease the immediate financial pressures New Zealanders will face.

“The Government intends to spend significantly more money to stimulate the economy through the coming recession.

“A better approach would be to take less money from taxpayers in the first place.

“No significant tax relief was announced by the Finance Minister on Tuesday. That is a mistake.

“The Government must stop actively harming the economy. It should begin by cancelling July’s petrol tax increase.”