Labour on road charges

June 14th, 2012 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

says:

The Government’s decision to  increase and road user charges are outrageous examples of tax and spend at a time when the country is being asked to tighten its belt, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford.

Phil Twyford said Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee today confirmed increases in petrol excise duty of two cents a litre and an equivalent increase in road user charges of an average of 4.1 per cent. The increases are expected to bring in an extra $90 million in 2012-13 and $100 million a year after that.

“The increases will hit motorists at a time when Kiwi families are struggling to make ends meet. Businesses are working overtime to keep afloat and the last thing they need is an increase in transport costs.

Roads should be funded on a user pays basis, and petrol tax and RUCs are the way this is done. I’d like to see us over time move to actual usage charging and congestion charging but there are some privacy issues around that.

It is worth recalling that Labour increased the petrol excise tax by 11.2c when in office – and off memory this was not all spent on transport, but some went to the consolidated fund.

Likewise Light RUC charges went up 66% under Labour, so the crocodile tears over a 4% increase are quite amusing.

I’ve said for some time that I think petrol tax and road user charges should in fact be automatically set to fund all transport projects which meet a certain minimum benefit to cost ratio.

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26 Responses to “Labour on road charges”

  1. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    It’s rich indeed for a party who campaigned on borrowing and taxing more to spend more, to be complaining about these changes

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  2. tvb (3,945 comments) says:

    When are we going to get rid of ruc for motor cars and gross up the tax. I accept diesel for motor vehicles will be about the price for premium petrol. And by the way what is registration for diesel motor cars much much more than petrol. I am fed u the private motorist is bring inconvenienced because a few hayseeds might be put out. The balance had now shifted.

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  3. Manolo (12,637 comments) says:

    The National Party, the party of lower taxes, yeah right.
    This Labour lite government is as rapacious as its socialist predecessor.

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  4. wreck1080 (3,527 comments) says:

    @manolo: didn’t national reduce the top tax rate from 39% to 33%?

    National are a disappointment though — they were unable to reduce labours massive spending spree by too much.

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  5. Redbaiter (6,481 comments) says:

    This isn’t about the Labour Party.

    This is about their fellow travellers in National. Just the same old same old socialist scammers.

    Wasting money hand over fist in so many areas on so many useless socialist schemes, and then robbing the productive sector to pay for it under the guise of needing money to pay for roading.

    Man this country is saddlled with such a bunch of contemptible left wing scum posturing as government, in parliament and in the bureaucracy.

    They all need replacing.

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  6. Alan Johnstone (915 comments) says:

    “didn’t national reduce the top tax rate from 39% to 33%? ”

    Yes, but they raised GST and made changes to property investment at the same time, making the outcome fiscally neutral.

    You can hardly argue they have lowered taxes, they have just shifted the balance of them.

    It was very much in the favor of the comparatively well off it has to be said, the tax change in 2010 put an net extra $180 a week in my pocket at the cost of an 2.5% rise in the cost of some items, but not major expenses like mortgages. I’m assuming that someone, somewhere got shafted to balance out the gift that I got. Not sure who though, poor people I guess.

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  7. KiwiGreg (3,129 comments) says:

    “I’ve said for some time that I think petrol tax and road user charges should in fact be automatically set to fund all transport projects which meet a certain minimum benefit to cost ratio.”

    If we stopped massively subsidising certain forms of transport (buses, trains and old people) we could probably cut these charges.

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  8. campit (438 comments) says:

    Agree, DPF, although I think off memory Labour actually moved to hypothecate fuel taxes so the money didn’t go to the consolidated fund when Annette King was Transport Minister.

    KiwiGreg, funding for PT services and PT infrastructure has been cut, as have local roading and other budgets. These tax increases are to pay for the “Roads Of National Significance”, which don’t meet any kind of minimum benefit cost ratio. RoNS budget is increasing from around $900 million a year now to over $2.2 billion in 2023/24

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  9. mikenmild (8,890 comments) says:

    Perhaps DPF meant to say “minimal”, given the roading projects the government is funding regardless of their actuall benefit.

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  10. alloytoo (338 comments) says:

    All this bleating about a 2c rise in petrol, when the price recently came down 10-15c/litre.

    I support taxes of this nature because they are simple, easy and cheap to impliment and ringfence.

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  11. lastmanstanding (1,154 comments) says:

    For the past 25 years plus both National and Labour have diverted taxes collected from motorists to fund other government spending.

    Thats why we have 3rd world roads. Its a con perpertrated by con artists and fraudsters. If the Commerce Act applied to poliies they would all be doing porridge.

    These feral venal arseholes have no morals no ethics and no sense of right and wrong.

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  12. Manolo (12,637 comments) says:

    I support taxes of this nature because they are simple, easy and cheap to impliment and ringfence.

    Good on you for being so gullible.
    Why do you stop at $2 dollars/litre? Pay $4, $5 or even $10 to fill the coffers. Key will be proud of you.

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  13. emmess (1,334 comments) says:

    Shouldn’t Twyford be happy?
    The two cents extra petrol tax with save the planet.

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  14. Mark (1,302 comments) says:

    Roads should be funded on a user pays basis, and petrol tax and RUCs are the way this is done. I’d like to see us over time move to actual usage charging and congestion charging but there are some privacy issues around that.

    roads are already funded on user pays and then some. Successive National and Labour governments have been syphoning off road tax into the consolidated fund for years. They could if they were honest about it simply move the RUC’s and petrol tax back from the consolidated fund without the need for an increase.

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  15. adam2314 (377 comments) says:

    @ Mark.

    ” They could if they were honest ”

    Bwahahaaaaaa.. They are politicians Mark..

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  16. mikenmild (8,890 comments) says:

    I’m pretty sure that all road-tax revenue goes into the land transport funded, but that the fund can be augmented by other dollops of money. Didn’t the government whack in a few hundred million for the ‘roads of national significance’?

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  17. Steve (North Shore) (4,327 comments) says:

    Cyclists don’t pay any RUC or fuel tax, yet they are so almighty when it comes to their ‘right’ to use the road – and enforce right of way after running a stop sign.
    Fucking road lice who pay nothing

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  18. Steve (North Shore) (4,327 comments) says:

    Roads should be funded on a user pays basis – yes sure. I mean the building of the roads, not the wearing out and maintainence.
    A cyclist should pay the same amount as any other road user. The road gets you from A to B no matter what form of transport, so pay up

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  19. libertyscott (355 comments) says:

    Firstly, the state highway network should be commercialised and privatised. Japan’s entire motorway network is run by three private companies, and much of France’s network is run by 20 or so companies. Those companies can then decide how and what to charge users. The local roads can follow.

    Secondly, Labour did not increase the fuel tax component that once went to the Consolidated Fund, but no fuel tax does so now. So it is all moot.

    Thirdly, RUC rates are rising faster than fuel tax because the cost allocation model used to determine who pays what from the NLTP indicates they are underpaying. Unless you move to a more commercial approach it is difficult to argue against this (certainly nobody in the Opposition has the economics to do this).

    So the Nats should be moving to a commercial model, which sees no more increases in motoring taxes (which are a form of blunt user pays) and a gradual shift to replace them with direct user charges (with local roads paid the same way, plus a set access charge for properties on remote roads where road users could never pay the cost of maintaining the roads).

    It had a bill in the late 1990s to do this called the Roads Bill, but has wimped out completely in implementing its past policy.

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  20. hmmokrightitis (1,458 comments) says:

    Ah steve, you poor dumb fuck. Thats right, cos no cyclist owns a car. And cyclists do so much damage to roads. Well, I own 4 bikes, and there are 8 in my house. Fair whack of GST on that. And two cars. Same. So maybe road users should pay based on the total cost, you know, including pollution and all.

    Or, you could open you mind and think with it, instead of your arse and typing through it?

    Just sayin…

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  21. MT_Tinman (2,793 comments) says:

    I agree Steve, all cycles should be registered annually, all cyclists should wear a uniquely numbered high-visibility vest displaying that registration.

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  22. Bogusnews (425 comments) says:

    Yup. National shouldn’t have done this. Much better to stop stupid spending in other areas than hoist up the taxes yet again.

    Do also agree though that Labourites have no place complaining. I remember hearing Tamihere saying on radio that he couldn’t justify the 5c a litre increase in petrol tax intro’d by Cullen for no reason other than he thought he could get away with it.

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  23. alloytoo (338 comments) says:

    @Manolo

    |Good on you for being so gullible.
    |Why do you stop at $2 dollars/litre? Pay $4, $5 or even $10 to fill the coffers. Key will be proud of you.

    What exactly are you abjecting to?

    Tax in general?
    Specifically user pay taxes?
    Specifically Broad based consumption taxes?
    Taxes which are simple and cheap to administer?

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  24. dubya (200 comments) says:

    “hmmokrightitis:
    Ah steve, you poor dumb fuck. Thats right, cos no cyclist owns a car. And cyclists do so much damage to roads. Well, I own 4 bikes, and there are 8 in my house. Fair whack of GST on that. And two cars. Same. So maybe road users should pay based on the total cost, you know, including pollution and all.”

    So eight bikes and two cars in your house, and you pay two lots of Road User Charges… Now, say I have six cars and four motorcycles, I have to pay ten lots of Road User Charges… Not withstanding I can only use one vehicle at a time (I am single), why should I pay RUC for 10 vehicles, where you only pay for two despite also having 10 vehicles? I don’t think Steve’s logic is the best, but yours is a bit shit, too. A (lower) RUC on cycles would be fair, as would an ACC charge worked out on the risk level and cost of cycle accidents. I don’t think any part of the RUC breakdown includes a ‘pollution level’ charge, but correct me if I’m wrong. I know they have a co2 level tax on motor vehicles in Europe.

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  25. Steve (North Shore) (4,327 comments) says:

    Cyclists don’t want to pay? fair enough. Then they don’t use the roads.
    I don’t care how many fucking cars you have, car costs are not cyclist inclusive, if they are – I want a discount because I do not cycle. Cyclists are fucking freeloaders and always have been.
    Got it hmmokrightitis?

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  26. Scott B (23 comments) says:

    wow, Steve really hates cyclists.

    You do know that a fair chunk of our roads are funded from general taxes and rates right? does that also make car and truck users free loader under your reasoning. They also don’t meet the costs the roading they use.

    On the topic of the post I find it surprising that anybody thinks this change is worth kicking up a fuss over. I haven’t crunched the number but I doubt this change even keeps up with inflation (haven’t had an increase for a while). Also we have quite cheap petrol (due to low petrol tax) compared to most of the OECD.

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