Government announces petrol tax hikes

HAMISH RUTHERFORD
Last updated 10:23 18/12/2012

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The Government has announced plans to hike the price of driving, adding 9 cents a litre to the price of petrol by 2015.

In each of the next three years, the Government will impose a 3 cent a litre rise to the excise tax component of petrol.

Each 1 cent added to the pump price of petrol adds around $15 to the annual running cost for the average motorist.

"The Government is keen to keep overall costs down for households and business. The cost of living, as measured by consumer inflation, is at a 13-year low and interest rates are at 50-year lows,'' Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee said.

"This announcement allows businesses and motorists to plan for the increases." he said.

Brownlee said the excise tax rise, which will be matched by higher road user charges on diesel, were required to deliver the roads of national significance (RONS), and maintain the value of the Land Transport Fund.

"These latest increases will also achieve that, and allow for continuing investment in the Government's state highway building programme and other transport projects.

Brownlee said the extra money could be put towards four projects in the 2013/14 financial year, namely:

- The Rangiriri and the Tamahere-Cambridge sections of the Waikato Expressway

- The Mackays to Peka Peka section of the Wellington Northern Corridor (subject to consents)

- The four-laning of the Groynes to Sawyers Arms (Johns Road) section of the Western Corridor in Christchurch (subject to consents)

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