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PM fudges fuel tax to shift blame for pump pain

Amy Adams - Finance

9 October 2018

The Prime Minister yesterday used numbers that ignore the Government’s fuel tax hikes in an attempt to underplay its role in the pain inflicted on Kiwis at the pump, National’s Finance spokesperson Amy Adams says.

“Jacinda Ardern claimed that Government taxes have only contributed 6.9 cents a litre to fuel price increases in the past year. But this is only the GST and Emissions Trading Scheme components and completely ignores the Government’s fuel excise tax of 4 cents a litre and the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax of 11.5 cents a litre.

“Adding in what the Prime Minister conveniently ignored shows taxes – the part the Government can control - accounted for a much larger proportion of the increase than claimed.

“The Government is piling on fuel taxes at the worst possible time, when petrol prices are already at record highs and the Kiwi dollar is falling. Instead of cancelling the increases she is insisting more tax hikes must be made in 2019 and 2020.

“The Prime Minister said New Zealanders were being ‘fleeced’ at the petrol pump but given how much of that can be sheeted home to this Government, the public is right to ask just who is doing the fleecing.

“The Government’s hasty response to public anger over petrol prices driving up the cost of living doesn’t ring true. The Prime Minister also claims to be rushing through legislation giving the Commerce Commission the power to investigate markets such as fuel.

“But the Commerce Amendment Bill that the Prime Minister cites was reported back on September 12 and could have been progressed last month. Instead, the Government gave priority to the Waka jumping legislation.

“The Government needs to stop inflicting new costs on New Zealanders. Being up front about the additional costs of fuel taxes would at least show that the Prime Minister understands the problem.”

ends

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