The incoming National government’s plan to scrap the Clean Car Discount, otherwise known as the ‘ute tax’, is being met with concern from the Better New Zealand Trust which says the decision should be delayed.
Party leader Christopher Luxon pledged that the scheme would be sunsetted by the end of this year throughout its election campaign, removing discounts for low-emitting vehicles like electric cars and fees for high emitters like utes.
However, Rob Birnie from Better NZ Trust says this date should be pushed back to eliminate uncertainty among car buyers and businesses.
“People are making decisions right now on car purchases not knowing if they will have to pay a fee or will be eligible for a subsidy by the time their car is delivered,” he said.
Birnie added that the plan to scrap the scheme is already having a negative impact on Kiwi’s transition to EVs and that they should be given a chance to make their voices heard before anything is finalised.
Ultimately, Better NZ does not agree with the National’s decision to scrap the Clean Car Discount, but if the incoming government were to make any changes or remove it altogether, the Trust wants to see a clear timeline put in place.
“Any changes should be delayed until 1 July 2024,” Birnie said in his letter to Luxon.
“That delay will give the Government time to properly consider the transition period and to consult with stakeholders.
“A six-month delay is the fair and practical option.”