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Petrol tax increase speeding down the road

John Key MP National Party Deputy Finance Spokesman

04 December 2003

Petrol tax increase speeding down the road

National Deputy Finance spokesman John Key says New Zealanders will be angry to learn that Finance Minister Michael Cullen is poised to raise petrol excise taxes nationwide by at least 5 cents a litre as early as next weekend.

"After four years of doing nothing, the best this Government has to offer is another tax increase to go along with the other 18 levied since they came into office in 1999," says Mr Key.

"When questioned about the logic of such a tax increase the best the Minister could come up with is that motorists should pay for the cost of capital involved in the 12 billion dollars of state highways the Government has on the books.

"Why should motorists have to pay the 'cost of capital' of something they have already paid to fund?

"What's worse is that we don't even spend the current petrol tax take on roads.

"More than $645 million each year is siphoned off to the Crown account to fund non-transport projects.

"The Labour Government is running big surpluses. It has room to show leadership on these issues, but instead it is happy to load even more costs on motorists.

"It's a shame the Government didn't take the same hard nosed approach to the Green Party when it passed the Land Transport Management Bill early this year, instead of caving in to all sorts of crazy demands.

"The result will be long delays, spiralling costs and now all drivers will be forced to pick up the tab," says Mr Key.

Ends

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