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21 Jul 2019 9:51
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  •   Home > News > Local Politics

    An Auckland councillor who voted against the city's regional fuel tax says he did so because it will cause more of a divide between rich and poor

    An Auckland councillor who voted against the city's regional fuel tax says he did so because it will cause more of a divide between rich and poor


    Councillors voted in favour of the tax by 13 votes to seven.

    Councillor Daniel Newman, who represents the Manurewa Papakura Ward, says combined with the Government's excise tax increase, all motorists will pay an extra 25 cents per litre for petrol.

    He says the tax represents a massive redistribution of wealth from the poorest Aucklanders, to those with the greatest wealth and transport choice.

    Legislation allowing the tax is expected to be passed in Parliament - and it will likely come into effect on July the first.





    Regional Fuel Tax for Auckland a regressive tax that places the greatest burden on the poorest Aucklanders

    The proposed Regional Fuel Tax for Auckland represents the most regressive tax that places the greatest burden on the poorest Aucklanders who can least afford it and who generally have less transport choice, according to Auckland Councillor Daniel Newman

    In voting to oppose the Regional Fuel Tax, Cr Newman said the combined impact of Auckland Council's regional fuel tax coupled with the Labour government's excise tax increase will means blue-collar workers in South Auckland will be paying an extra 25 cents per litre at the pump.

    "I will not cast my vote to fast-track my constituents to $3 per litre at the pump.

    "If we were courageous, we would wear the political risk of expenditure via a transport rate and consequently contemplate the value and the cost of every part of Auckland Council's operation," Cr Newman said.

    The proposal for a Regional Fuel Tax will see a 10 cents per litre plus GST for a period of 10 years subject to the introduction of legislation to enable this. The Regional Fuel Tax is being presented as an integral part of the delivery of the Auckland Transport Alignment Project.

    "The Auckland Transport Alignment Project has been presented as a package deal, not a smorgasbord. There are elements of this package deal that I consider to be a nonsense, including light rail to the airport and West Auckland.

    "However, I want the Mill Road investment, albeit for Stage One only. But this needs to be funded through a combination of rates, Crown capital contributions, and development contributions.

    "Our politics and our decision-making is best served when politicians are drawn as close as possible to the political consequences of their spending priorities.

    "If we faced the prospect of 14 per cent rate increases, expenditure will be quickly reconsidered across a range of areas within Council," Cr Newman said.

    The vote on the proposed Regional Fuel Tax passed by 13 votes to 7.

    © 2019 Newstalk ZB, NZCity


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