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Finance Minister should hang his head in shame

John Key
National Deputy Finance Spokesperson

3 March 2004

Finance Minister should hang his head in shame

Finance Minister Michael Cullen should be ashamed by the sneaky way he is attempting to introduce CPI indexation for petrol tax, says National Party Deputy Finance Spokesman John Key.

"Currently only tobacco and alcohol are indexed to the inflation rate. But now the Government is adding fuel and road user charges to the list, which effectively adds about half a cent per litre on all petrol.

"As is the habit of this Government, more and more taxes get lumped on the public, and in this case not even with the courtesy of an explanation.

"This adds up to another 20 million dollars of revenue taken from the pockets of taxpaying New Zealanders, and put into the coffers of a Government already running a large surplus.

"However, there is absolutely no guarantee that the money will be used for roading improvements," said Mr Key.

"The truth is that the amount of excise revenue is being eroded because of vehicle efficiency, so the Government is raising the tax in order to keep up.

"This is a pretty perverse way of rewarding motorists for buying more fuel-efficient cars.

"Dr Cullen is a Minister reeling from a disastrous month in the polls, who is afraid to get out there and tell the public the actions his Government is taking.

"Treating people like mushrooms might work for members of his own caucus, but it's not the level of behaviour the public expect from their Minister of Finance," said Mr Key.

Ends

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