Higher fuel taxes drive New Zealanders to wits end

Simeon Brown

The Government’s new fuel taxes are placing a heavy financial burden on hard working Kiwis as they pay record prices at the pump.

National believes that New Zealanders should be able to keep more of what they earn and we believe that the Government should help keep the cost of living down to help New Zealanders get ahead.

This Government is doing the opposite.

That is why we are calling on the Government to axe its new fuel taxes.

I outline below three reasons why they should.

Higher cost of living

Firstly, the average New Zealand household is now paying $200 a year more for petrol than this time last year. In Auckland that figure is $324. New fuel taxes on top of record petrol prices are a major reason for that, and it is placing a lot of pressure on some of our families who are trying to make ends meet.

Higher cost of doing business

Secondly, a major effect of large fuel price increases is that the cost of doing business is going up, and many small and medium-sized businesses have no choice but to pass that cost on to their customers.

This means higher prices for many other common necessities, like groceries. Because of these taxes, our everyday kiwis are not just paying more at the pump once, but effectively they are paying twice when what they buy is more expensive because of petrol prices.

Poor hit hard

Thirdly, these increases are hitting our poorest families the most- those who can afford it the least. While many of us are able (though not willing) to absorb higher fuel taxes, many are not, and that extra $200-300 can mean all the difference when it comes to putting food on the table.

Putting a low-income family in the position where they need to choose between food and heating, and being able to drive to work, is not a compassionate approach to government.

More taxes coming

Since the General Election 2017, petrol prices have gone up 42 cents a litre on average and the costs are only going to increase as prices continue to climb and the Government prepares to impose even more new taxes, with two more excise increases planned over the next two years.

The government may be claiming that these are not new taxes, but are in fact just increases in excises. Either way, Kiwis are footing the bill and it is hurting some of us big time.

While the Government cannot control global prices for fuel, it can control its taxes, and it is already collecting huge amounts of tax on petrol.

Every time you put $1 of fuel into your vehicle 53 cents of that is going straight from your wallet into the Government’s back pocket.

The Government has more money because New Zealanders have less.

No way to govern

Ultimately, this is not a sustainable, productive, or fair way to govern.

Ordinary hard working Kiwi families don’t need the worry of figuring out how they are going to drive to school or get to the supermarket, but it is hard not to worry when this Government is pricing them out of their cars.

The Government needs to realise it cannot keep heaping costs on to New Zealand families. It is ramping up the cost of living and making it harder for Kiwis to get ahead.

National’s new Petition

National has launched a new petition calling on the Government to acknowledge the burden Kiwi families are facing and do something about it.

It needs to cancel its new taxes.

You can add your name to our petition at the following link, and help us convince the Government that this issue cannot be ignored.


Simeon Brown is elected Member of Parliament from Pakuranga Constituency in East Auckland. He is National Party’s Spokesperson for Education and Tertiary Education.


Photo Caption:

  1. Simeon Brown
  2. RNZ Picture by Alexander Robertson

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