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Minister should demand all petrol tax goes to roa

Hon Maurice Williamson
National Party Transport Spokesman

21 November 2005

Minister should demand all petrol tax goes to roading

National’s Transport spokesman, Maurice Williamson, says the new Transport Minister should stop reading puerile advice about how to get more revenue from motorists and start demanding that Michael Cullen allocate all petrol tax to the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF).

Motorists already pay substantial tax on petrol. On a litre of 91-octane the figures are:

47.6c in petrol tax.
15.3c in goods and services tax.
62.9c in total tax.

This accounts for over 45% of the price paid at the pump.

Mr Williamson says that of the $1.362 billion petrol tax to be raised this year, only $748 million (54%) is bound for the NLTF. $614 million is siphoned off and goes to the Government's general account.

“At a time when New Zealand has a huge infrastructure deficit and a massive backlog of urgent roading projects, it is a disgrace that over $600 million is diverted for general spending.

“Labour cannot justify this highway robbery when it is running huge fiscal surpluses and when all of the $790 million tax on diesel-powered vehicles goes to the dedicated NLTF; as does the entire $230 million of income from vehicle registration fees.

“The ministry is correct in saying there is ‘strong community resistance’ to attempts to boost property rates to pay for transport infrastructure. Why should motorists and property owners be fleeced even more?

“The Government’s advisory arm should take a lead in advocating that all petrol tax go to the NTLF. This would give New Zealand a real chance to address the backlog of roading projects. The National party actively campaigned on this at the election and will support any moves in that direction,” says Mr Williamson.

ENDS

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