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Baldock: Govt gets sly on petrol tax

Media Statement For immediate release
Monday, 1 March, 2004

Baldock: Govt gets sly on petrol tax

The Government has pulled a swiftie on New Zealand motorists with its quiet announcement that fuel excise duty and road user charges for light vehicles will be indexed to inflation from 2006, United Future transport spokesman Larry Baldock said today.

"This is very sneaky stuff and motorists should be up in arms about it," Mr Baldock said.

"Indexing it to inflation means the Government doesn't have to go back to Parliament for each incremental increase, and can quite conveniently avoid facing up to the public to justify its increased take.

"This removes the 'bad press' deterrent that governments normally face in putting up petrol tax, and which makes them cautious about doing it," Mr Baldock said. Another significant problem was that the increase only applied to the amount collected by the Government and not the amount diverted to the National Land Transport Fund.

"So basically, while whacking this on to motorists, the Government is giving no assurance of increasing the money that is used for building and maintaining the nation's roads.

"There is one clear winner here, and it isn't the motorist," he said.

Ends.

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