Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand warns that if the fuel rebate isn’t extended, come 31st January, the cost to fill Kiwi’s cars will go up $10 to $15 overnight, the price of catching a bus or a train will double, and their road user charges will increase 36 per cent – at a time when inflation is projected to rise again.
The transport body is calling on the Government to extend its petrol and road user charge price reductions (fuel rebate), and public transport subsidy, “until inflation is well below 6 per cent.”
Transporting New Zealand Chief Executive, Nick Leggett, says that with yesterday’s Reserve Bank projection, inflation is expected to increase to 7.5 per cent early next year.
“It’s not fair to load extra costs on families and businesses at a time when everything they need on a daily basis, is going up. This is a real and direct way in which the Government can ease cost of living pressure for every New Zealander. The impact will be felt at the pump, in the supermarket and on buses and trains,” he said.
Transporting New Zealand has had economic advice on the impact of extending the subsidy and is convinced that it should continue until families and businesses are better able to cope with increased costs. Not only would the decision to stop the rebate now load costs onto struggling businesses and households, it would also add to inflation.
“Treasury calculations show that when the transport package was introduced in April of this year, it contributed to a reduction to inflation of 0.5 per cent, so that would work in reverse, too. We could end up with even higher inflation – at 8 per cent next year.
“Make no mistake, reinstating these taxes on 31 January will add significantly to weekly costs for every New Zealand family, in multiple ways.
“Transporting New Zealand is writing to Finance Minister, Grant Robertson to seek an urgent decision on the continuation of the transport package, so New Zealanders know one way or another and can plan.”