Legislation introduced this week would allow a tax to be imposed anywhere in the country if a regional council makes the case.
National’s transport spokesperson Jami-Lee Ross said Labour campaigned on a fuel tax for Auckland – nowhere else.
The “big surprise”, he said, was that a regional fuel tax would be possible around the country.
“The government needs to be upfront with the rest of New Zealand and tell them that in just a few short years they’re going to be seeing fuel tax in their regions as well.
“It’s another opportunity for the Labour government to tax motorists more.”
But the Transport Minister is assuring motorists no-one outside of Auckland will be hit with a regional fuel tax this term of government.
The legislation prevented regional councils outside of Auckland from seeking a fuel tax until 2021, Phil Twyford said.
“In the future councils may want to take part of it but we’ve been clear publicly and directly to councils that this government will not be considering any other proposals for fuel taxes, other than Auckland’s, in our first term of government.”
Mr Twyford said he had already personally given that message to the mayors of Christchurch and Hamilton.
In its election tax policy Labour specifically talks about a tax only for Auckland, and said Labour had “no plans for any other regional fuel taxes”.
It seems that Labour does have plans for allowing higher fuel tax in other regions, eventually.
Labour have also said they won’t introduce any taxes recommend by the Tax Working Group this term, but they would campaign on what they wanted for the 2020 election. It is possible they will introduce new tax legislation ready to be implement next term – like the regional fuel tax legislation.
Tax could be a big issue in the next election.
Have your say on the Land Transport Management (Regional Fuel Tax) Amendment Bill
Source: RadioNZ and Your NZ | || March 30, 2018 |||