Motorists using Road User Charges will have to wait until “late April to late July” before benefiting from the Government’s latest tax cuts.
Whereas excise duty on fuel was slashed by 25 cents in just a few hours following a Cabinet meeting earlier this month, a reduction in Road User Charges is the last change to be implemented.
Despite an increase in the cost of living, motorists must wait for over a month before having any relief.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Transport was brief on their explanation concerning such a wait.
“The time required is to allow agencies to work through the implementation of the announced RUC changes and any flow on implications,” they said, explaining no further.
National’s spokesperson for transport, Simeon Brown, told NZ Autocar the law requires 42 days of notice before changing RUC rates.
“The law clearly never anticipated a reduction in RUC rates,” Brown said.
“This is a classic example of the Government making an announcement without thinking through any of the detail.”
The Ministry of Transport did not respond to these claims when asked by NZ Autocar for comment.
Brown says the National Party has urged the Government to pass legislation to reduce the RUC reduction timeframe.
“So diesel vehicle operators can get the relief the Government has promised sooner,” he said.
However, he believes such legislation is unlikely to be passed.
“The Government doesn’t appear interested in this approach and is still to even give a date when this temporary discount will become available.”
Again, the Government had no reply to our questions.
On April 1, the second part of the Government’s “energy crisis” relief package is launched.
Most public transport services will have their fares halved. Those excluded include the Waiheke, Devonport and Rakino ferry services in Auckland, the Wellington Cable Car and the Cook Strait ferry.
Transport Minister Michael Wood has promised the reduction in Road User Charges will still be for three months despite the late start. The rate will be dropped by 36 per cent during that time.
Wood blamed the Ukraine/Russian war for the “global energy crisis.”