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New regional petrol tax not ruled out


Hon Roger Sowry MP National Party Transport Spokesman

12 June 2003

New regional petrol tax not ruled out

The Government is refusing to rule out a new 10c a litre regional petrol tax to pay for regional roading initiatives, says National Party Transport spokesman Roger Sowry.

"That'll come on top of the petrol tax slapped on Kiwi motorists last year to pay for Auckland roads.

"The Transport Minister has confirmed only recently that the 3c a litre tax, which was supposedly in place for just 16 months, will remain indefinitely.

"At a select committee meeting today Transport Minister Paul Swain refused to dismiss suggestions of a new tax to pay for regional roads.

"Now regional motorists, who are already helping to pay for Auckland's roading crisis, will be forced to pay again for their own local roads.

"There's no way that motorists in the regions should be forced to pay another tax when the Government is carrying a huge Budget surplus.

"The 10c a litre tax would have a huge impact on the regions, especially for those on fixed incomes and those living in rural communities who have to travel for services.

"Remember this is a Government that promised in its pledge card that there would be no income tax increases for the 95% of taxpayers earning under $60,000 a year.

"Some might argue they've honoured that promise, but in the last couple of months we've seen an energy tax, a sherry tax and now suggestions of a new petrol tax.

"The irony is that all of those taxes will hit hardest among the low income group of New Zealanders that Labour claims to care so much about," Mr Sowry says.

Ends

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