Drive Electric and Taxpayers’ Union weigh in on clean vehicle feebate

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Words: Nile Bijoux
9 Jul 2019

Drive Electric and the Taxpayers’ Union have voiced their opinions on the clean vehicle feebate proposal.

Drive Electric is “strongly supportive” of the plan, with chairman Mark Gilbert saying the proposal is a “positive step towards creating a cleaner vehicle fleet on New Zealand roads, and is looking forward to participating in the consultation process.

“While there is still much detail to be worked out, the principal of incentivising cleaner vehicles and setting stricter emission-standards on car imports is something Drive Electric has been calling for.”

Gilbert added that Drive Electric would still like to see the consultation address the role of Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT), especially on the purchase of new vehicle fleets.

As for the emissions standard, Drive Electric supports that too. “Given that New Zealand has never had an emissions standard, I'm sure a lot of people driving around today have no idea whether their car is a clean car or a dirty car.”

Gilbert adds that the Government’s stated two-years timeline to implement new legislation comes with some risks and could actually see a fall in low-emission vehicle sales prior to it coming into effect.

“The long timeline does add some uncertainty and the new car market could be severely affected by it as importers rush to beat the change, it would be good if it could be accelerated” he said.

The Taxpayers’ Union however is less supportive. Executive Director Jordan Williams said in a release that the proposal is a “tax on Otara vehicles to subsidise Teslas in Remuera.”

“Only a few, largely high-income, motorists will benefit from this subsidy, while many more low income motorists will have to choose between a nasty penalty or delaying the purchase of a new car. And as this tax leads drivers to hold on to their existing vehicles for longer, we’ll miss out on improvements to safety and environmental standards.”

“Successive Governments have already whacked motorists hard with hikes to petrol tax. Now Julie-Anne Genter is mixing it up with scheme to ‘take from the poor, give to the rich’.”

“Just because something is shrouded in environmental branding doesn’t make it any less nasty to the poor.”

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