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UF cracks petrol excise diversion dam!

Media Statement For immediate release Friday, 12 December, 2003

UF cracks petrol excise diversion dam!

The decision to fund $900 million of Auckland's roading needs over the next 10 years from the 18.5 cents a litre of petrol excise taken by the Government for the Crown account is a hugely important "crack in the diversion dam", United Future leader Peter Dunne and transport spokesman Larry Baldock said today.

"United Future has pushed relentlessly for the money taken from motorists to go back into building better roads, and this is a huge breakthrough," Mr Dunne said. "We have called for this consistently in and out of Parliament for nearly 18 months now."

"Our position has been very straightforward: What motorists pay at the pump should be spent on transport, not siphoned off for every other need under the sun," he said.

"This is a $900 million return for motorists on United Future's determination, and we are delighted that we have been able to convince the Government of the fairness of this approach," Mr Baldock said.

In the first and second years, $50 million will be taken from the petrol excise tax 18.5 cents a litre diversion for Auckland roading needs, lifting to $100 million a year for the following eight years," he said.

"We are absolutely delighted to have been instrumental in this very significant directional change in the way New Zealand approaches meeting its roading needs," they said.

"We've cracked the diversion dam. It's a start and a very good one," Mr Dunne said. "But I can assure you that United Future will continue to move for an increasing amount of the 18.5 cents a litre to go back into the country's transport needs."

Mr Dunne and Mr Baldock also supported the 5 cents a litre petrol tax increase, the benefits of which will go to nationwide roading projects. It is expected to bring in about $200 million a year, and be distributed on a population basis, with Auckland therefore getting some 35 percent of that total.

"No tax increase is ever a delight, but this one is important, and it basically goes into each region in proportion to the amount that is taken from the motorists of that region. It is a fair way of funding roading needs," they said.


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