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Government loses the plot on Road User Charges

Media Release

4 July 2008

Government loses the plot on Road User Charges

As if the Government’s monstrous faux-pas of imposing overnight, and completely unexpected increases on the road transport industry on the very day that they took control of the sector’s main competitor was not enough, they also took another negative out of the situation by failing to review the inflated charges that continue to be imposed on diesel passenger cars.

“Here was the perfect opportunity for the Government to recognise the beneficial impact on CO2 emissions and global warming provided by small diesel-powered cars through their very low fuel consumption, but not only has the road user charge been increased for this category of vehicle, but it remains virtually the same as the ratet for a three-tonne truck,” said Perry Kerr, CEO of the Motor Industry Association.

“Road User Charges are a legitimate and sensible way of recovering the costs imposed on the roading system by heavy transport, but the concept has not been modified to reflect the times” said Mr. Kerr. “When this regime was imposed it was not designed to cope with lightweight diesel-powered vehicles which do not damage the roads at all. To fix this anomaly would take the simple stroke of a pen, but the Government seems incapable of making this happen, despite the fact that having diesel powered cars paying their rightful share of taxation would actually assist in the achievement of the Government’s own Kyoto targets”.

“We are in total support of the Road Transport Forum’s request that the Government reviews this whole area of taxation and we look forward to the day when an equitable solution can be found to the issue of how to tax lightweight diesel vehicles,” concluded Mr. Kerr.


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