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Car registration balls-up

2000 web siteLabour is calling on the Government to ensure that people whose car licence registration runs out today are not charged the new much higher cost to re-register their car.

Transport spokesperson Harry Duynhoven raised the matter in Parliament today - saying there was a great deal of confusion about when the new fees came into effect.

"However, given that the Budget speech, where the increase was announced, clearly stated that the cost was to rise after 1 July, anyone whose registration expires in June should be eligible for the lower cost," Harry Duynhoven said.

"Minister Murray McCully, speaking on behalf of the Minister of Transport,confirmed in Prliament today that: ' … the crucial issue is when the current registration expires. If that registration expires during the month of June, my advice is that, the rate pre the $47.50 increase applies but if the expiry occurs on or after the 1st of July then indeed the $47.50 increase is due.'

"That's not what Timaru man Kevin Gowans was told when he tried to pay for a year's registration this week and was told it would cost him more than $200 even though the expiry date on his registration is June 99. Because he did not have that much money he has only been able to register his car for six months.

"I will now be writing to the Minister of Transport asking him to personally ensure that Mr Gowans can have his car registered at the old cost as Mr McCully told Parliament was applicable. I will also be asking him to investigate how many other people have been overcharged and should be eligible for refunds.

"This is a further example of Government trying to rush through changes without setting up adequate systems.

"Labour staff rang around more than a dozen agencies which issue the licences and got a range of different responses. Some agencies backed up Mr McCully's statement; some said the new price would have to be paid, some said they couldn't tell without running the information through a computer system, and one said it depended on when the fee was paid.

"There's also confusion surrounding whether the Government is even in a position to charge the new fees as the changes are not yet regulations.

"Finally, I also believe that the increased cost people are being charged is more than the $47.50 announced by the Government," Harry Duynhoven said.

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