No more regional fuel taxes

Photoshopped image credit: Technomage

In what can only be seen as a significant backdown by Jacinda, the government has announced that there will be no further regional fuel taxes, other than the ones already imposed on Auckland motorists. This is in spite of the fact that the law that was passed allowing the Auckland fuel taxes specifically provided for the possibility of the taxes being applied in other regions.

A newspaper ?reports: quote.

Jacinda Ardern is promising no new regional fuel taxes while she is Prime Minister and is accusing National Leader Simon Bridges of spreading “utterly, incorrect, false” information about a Wellington fuel tax.

Under the recently passed law providing for the Auckland regional fuel tax, other regions are able to seek approval from the Government for their own regional tax from 2021

But speaking in the House today, Ardern ruled out implementing any other regional fuel taxes.

“The regional rule tax legislation puts in a date, but I can give this guarantee to this House, and to consumers, there will be no other regional fuel taxes while I am Prime Minister.” end quote.

I can tell you now, Jacinda, that the rumours about Wellington looking to impose a regional fuel tax did not come from Simon Bridges. There has been speculation since last June that Wellington, Christchurch and Tauranga were all looking to impose regional fuel taxes, and that basically, all they had to do was to get the go-ahead from Phil Twyford, and it was a done deal. quote.

Later in Question time, Ardern said the only reason she made the promise today was “for the sake of clarity in the wake of the Opposition leader throwing down what’s called loosely, a dead cat.”

Bridges said he had been told the Government was had been in discussions with Wellington City Council over a regional fuel tax.

“What we’ve seen is a spokesperson from the council make clear, actually they were in discussions in with the Government and then being heaved out of that position,” he told reporters this afternoon. end quote.

Most Wellingtonians have simply been waiting for the fuel tax to arrive. It was only ever a question of ‘when’. The council has too many rainbow crossings and Matariki fireworks to fund to be in a position to turn down extra money when it is just about within their grasp. quote.

Asked in the House when he knew about the Government’s decision to rule out any new regional fuel taxes, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones said learned about [it] when Ardern informed the House today. end quote.

Eventually, he did, when pressed by Paul Goldsmith… so this is another piece of policy on the hoof for this government. What a shambolic outfit they really are. quote.

Ardern said in the House Bridges was making “a habit of mischief-making, throwing out this morning completely fake false information about regional fuel taxes that by law cannot be introduced by this House.” end quote.

Not true, dear Princess. As I stated above, the law was written specifically to allow other regions to impose such fuel taxes if they chose. The law has already been introduced by the House. All they had to do was say ‘pretty please’…

I find it worrying that there are so many ‘captain’s calls’ under this government. Shane Jones did his utmost to avoid admitting that there had been no knowledge of this decision prior to Jacinda announcing it. It is clear that this happens all the time – and it is no way to run the country.

I’m very glad that fuel taxes are not going to be imposed in regions other than Auckland because Auckland infrastructure will be funded by the taxes eventually. (I read somewhere that apparently Aucklanders ‘asked’ for the fuel taxes, whereas motorists from other regions did not. I will await comments from Aucklanders on that subject with some interest.) Make no mistake, this is a serious U-turn by this government when the law had been set up specifically to allow similar taxes in other regions if required. The government must really be feeling the heat over the fuel price increases, and this is their response to it.

Bring it on. What else can we get them to backtrack on?