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Petrol tax increase backed

Media statement Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Petrol tax increase backed

The Employers and Manufacturers Association is backing the increase in the fuel excise tax over the next three years, as an important and efficient source of revenue for growing the economy.

"Raising the excise tax on fuel again is an important investment needed to fund New Zealand's infrastructure deficit," said Kim Campbell, EMA's chief executive.

"Rather than cynical the issue is more important than balancing the books within a given time frame," he said.

"New Zealand urgently needs to build better roads to lift our productivity and work life balance.

"Raising the funds required through the fuel tax is the most efficient method available as it simply costs less to collect in this way than any other.

"But it would be helpful if there were renewed assurances that all the funds raised will be hypothecated for investing solely in land transport infrastructure.

"Prior to the recession kicking in, regular increases in the fuel excise tax at about three cents a year were introduced in 2009 and generally accepted as necessary to accelerate road building. The increase was not implemented last year, though there has been the expectation it would be re-installed when conditions allowed.

"The additional infrastructure able to be funded like this represents an investment in the country's future growth so everyone stands to benefit."

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