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Labour Must Come Clean On Petrol Tax

4 July 2002

"The Government should 'fess up about the extra petrol taxes it plans to hit the motorist with if it is re-elected," says National's transport spokesperson Belinda Vernon.

"Especially following today's admission by Finance Minister that a re-elected Labour Government will impose a new health tax."

Ms Vernon says revelations that the Government's draft New Zealand Transport Strategy proposes significant petrol tax increases shows that Labour is not being upfront about the extra taxes it is planning to impose if re-elected.

"Not only does the NZTS propose an increase in petrol tax, but we know from Treasury papers that the Government intended to increase petrol tax earlier this year by 8 cents instead of the 4 cents it actually imposed. Presumably they're planning to make up that shortfall later this year or early next year.

"Road users should brace themselves for whopping increases in petrol tax and road user charges if Labour is re-elected."

"Labour is planning to tax motorists off the road.

"The Government already hijacks more than half the petrol tax it currently collects and spends it on other than direct road costs. Less than half of the petrol tax increase earlier this year went on roads.

"It's clear Labour sees motorists as a soft touch. It is planning more petrol tax increases, but just not telling anyone until after the election.

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

"The shallowness of Prime Minister's pledge card has been exposed. To have any credibility she needs to rule out further petrol tax increases if Labour is re-elected or to tell voters how much to expect. They have a right to know. " Ms Vernon concluded.


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