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Petrol Price Increase A Shameless Tax Grab

Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIANZ) Chief Executive, John Moriarty welcomes the Government’s intentions to invest more in transport but says a rise in petrol tax to help fund this investment would perpetuate a shameless tax policy.

Mr Moriarty says this investment should be funded by using petrol tax money already being collected from motorists but being spent elsewhere.

“This new investment in our transport systems is great news for the tourism sector, as roads and other transport services are the ‘lifeblood’ of our tourism businesses. However, of the 32.3 cents a litre the Government collects in petrol taxes, only 13.6 cents is being spent on transport funding. Clearly the Government is cross-subsidising the rest of the economy from this petrol tax. It would be just as logical for it to raise taxes from cigarettes to pay for motorways in Auckland,” he says.

“At the moment, road users are getting a raw deal from the petrol taxes they pay. This is a classic case of a government confusing collection of a tax with the purpose of a tax.”

He says that, to add insult to injury, New Zealanders may be hit with higher petrol taxes again in the near future, to help fund New Zealand’s obligations under the Kyoto Protocol.

Mr Moriarty says Government spending over the past year shows it’s able to find money for new programmes such as paid parental leave, and increased health and education expenditure within its existing budgets. The Government should take the same approach to roading, and fund it out of existing revenues.

“Where there is a will, there is a way. We urge the Government to fund increased investment in our roading system from money it already collects from motorists and to immediately scrap plans to impose further taxes on a key component of tourism.”

ENDS

For more information contact:

Celia Rountree

(04) 494 1845


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