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Guarantees needed before higher petrol taxes

Guarantees needed before higher petrol taxes

Business will oppose any increase in petrol or vehicle taxes until guarantees are in place that the extra funds would be invested in roads, says the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern).

"Before business can give a green light to higher petrol taxes such as the 15 cents a litre more on petrol, we need cast iron guarantees the extra money raised would pay for better roads," said Alasdair Thompson, EMA's chief executive.

"Under the new Land Transport Management Act road user petrol taxes can be siphoned off to pay for anything but roads.

"Road users can be taxed to fund such things as cycleways, walkways, rail track maintenance and coastal shipping.

"The same applies to funds raised by tolling roads.

"At the same time that Government siphons off extra petrol taxes and tolls ostensibly for building roads, it can divert more from the existing road user funding streams into the consolidated fund.

"Every time you fill up with 50 litres of gas now you pay over $27 in taxes but only $6.95 of it goes into building roads.

"Three quarters of motorists' petrol taxes doesn't go to roads.

"Meanwhile Transit New Zealand is unable to spend the excess funds sitting in Transfund's bank account on the roads urgently needed in Auckland. Hence other regions are getting roads built that were well down Transit's own priority list."

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