Big petrol price rises announced

RACHEL YOUNG
Last updated 13:28 18/12/2012

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Petrol price rises will compound budgeting woes for families, says a Christchurch budgeting service.

The Government today announced plans to add 9 cents a litre to the price of petrol by 2015.

On July 1 of each of the next three years, the Government will impose a 3c-a-litre rise to the excise tax component of petrol.

Automobile Association PetrolWatch spokesman Mark Stockdale said for every 3c added to the pump price of petrol it increased the annual running cost by about $30 for the average motorist.

He said increased fuel prices were never welcome, but the Government's announcement gave motorists more certainty by spelling out when targeted increases would happen, rather than waiting until 2015 and increasing petrol by 9c a litre.

Most motorists would not notice the increase at the pump, he said.

However, Christchurch Budget Service chairman Don Johnson said increased petrol prices were a ''further imposition'' on budgets.

''It's one in a line of price increases which the average family has no way of combating,'' he said.

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee said: ''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.

''This announcement allows businesses and motorists to plan for the increases.''

He said the excise tax rise, which would be matched by higher road-user charges on diesel, was required to deliver the roads of national significance and maintain the value of the Land Transport Fund.

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

- The Rangiriri and 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 Rd (Johns Rd) section of the western corridor in Christchurch (subject to consents).

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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