22 Nov 2017

Auckland Council could avoid fuel tax - National Party

10:07 am on 22 November 2017

Auckland Council would not need to charge a regional fuel tax if it got its costs under control, the National Party says.

Afternoon rush hour traffic out of central Auckland.

Afternoon rush hour traffic out of central Auckland. Photo: 123rf.com

Aucklanders will be paying an extra 10 cents a litre when they fill up the tank with a regional fuel tax to come into force from July next year.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford said the Auckland Council had asked the government to legislate so it could charge a regional fuel tax.

"We've said we'll do that - it's about enabling Auckland Council to generate some additional revenue to bring to the table for this 10-year plan so we'll make it a priority in the next few months to get that legislation passed."

But National's Finance spokesperson Steven Joyce said if the Auckland Council could get its costs under control it would not need the extra revenue.

"Because if they controlled their costs properly they'd be able to have the sort of money, the $150 million a year that a regional fuel tax would generate, they'd have that in surplus if they just ran the council properly.

"Effectively the government are just saying to [Auckland Mayor] Phil Goff, their former colleague 'we'll let you off the hook and we'll charge the Auckland commuters instead' instead of just saying to him 'hey get your costs under control."

ACT Party leader David Seymour said Auckland was in need of extra revenue to fund new infrastructure.

"We are massively under invested in infrastructure in Auckland but it's not clear why Aucklanders as net taxpayers to the country are getting whacked with another tax."

The July introduction of a fuel tax would allow the Auckland council to drop its Interim Transport Levy of $114 per household - a three-year measure designed to boost transport funding ahead of new revenue.

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