Key says tolls would be offset by petrol tax reductions

John Key says that if tolls are contemplated then there should be corresponding reductions in petrol taxes.

Prime Minister John Key says petrol taxes could be reduced to offset the costs of proposed road tolls in Auckland.

Mr Key said today that direct charging for road users, which is now being considered by the Government and Auckland Council, was not about “socking it to the consumer” and could be matched with reductions in other levies.

He made the comments after the Labour Party warned that road tolls could cost regular Auckland commuters up to $10 a day, or $2500 a year.

A joint Government-Auckland Council report released yesterday said that road charging was needed to fix the city’s worsening gridlock.  

The Government has previously been sceptical of tolls, but confirmed yesterday it was now open to the idea.

Speaking to reporters in Tauranga this morning, Mr Key talked down the possibility of tolling in the near future, saying no commitment had been made and there were big technological hurdles to overcome.

“What we are saying is they are potentially an option,” he said.

Mr Key was also at pains to emphasize that any direct charges were not meant to raise revenue.

“It’s not about socking it to the consumer with more costs, it’s about changing the behaviour of what they do.”

That’s nice, but do you trust a politician with taxes?

I don’t. There would also be nothing stopping an incoming socialist government from ratcheting taxes back up.

John Key knows he is in trouble with the proposal and is seeking to hose down speculation by stating that it is just a report and not something Aucklanders are going to see on the roads a”anytime soon”.

 

– NZ Herald


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

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