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Petrol Tax Rise Around The Corner

3 July 2002

"Road users should brace themselves for whopping increases in petrol tax and road user charges if Labour is re-elected," says National Transport spokesperson Belinda Vernon.

Ms Vernon warns that March's 4.7c (GST incl) hike in petrol tax is just a taste of things to come.

"Treasury papers show that an 8c petrol tax increase was actually needed to fund roading projects already in the pipeline. At the time, Labour decided it would increase petrol tax by 4.2c and then spent most of it on projects other than roading.

"I predict that if re-elected Labour will make up the shortfall with another petrol tax increase later this year or early next year."

Ms Vernon says the Government's own much-vaunted and long-awaited New Zealand Transport Strategy - which it refuses to release prior to the election - shows that the motorist is going to be whacked in the pocket again.

"Labour is planning to tax motorists off the road to pay for its social agenda."

She says under the proposed 8c petrol tax hike, $180M was to be spent on roads. However, in the Government's final 4c package just $63M was allocated to roading.

"That means the March petrol tax hike only funded a third of the planned projects. It's clear Labour is planning more petrol tax increases, but it's just not telling anyone until after the election.

"Helen Clark's election credit card rules out increases in the rates of GST, company and income tax, but - noticeably - says nothing about petrol tax.

"I challenge the Prime Minister to categorically rule out a petrol tax increase if she is re-elected," Ms Vernon concluded.


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