Inequitable law will drive young and old crazy

Jenny Salesa – 

I am really concerned that older people, the young and struggling families will take a huge hit with extra fees when they come to relicense their cars.

From July1, 2015, many people in my electorate of Manukau East in South Auckland, and indeed people across New Zealand would be required to pay a whopping two to three times as much for ACC levy in their licensing fee compared to other drivers.

Unfair Legislation

The government’s new scheme is touted as a fairer system but is actually a lousy law.

It is unfair that everyone will not be paying the same fee and that the ACC levy will vary widely across four bands for petrol driven cars – from $68.46 (L4; 2009-2015) to $158.46 (L1; 1975-1995). The levy will be even higher for cars using other fuels.

Year of Manufacture Band Levy Rate
From  To Petrol Non-Petrol
1975 1995 L1 $158.46 $241.13
1996 2000 L2 $123.46 $206.13
2001 2008 L3 $103.46 $186.13
2009 Present L4 $68.46 $151.13

The above means that older the car, higher amount, since it is viewed as an increased risk.

Nearly two-thirds of all cars in New Zealand are more than 10 years old and 40% are more than 15 years old.

While figures show that the Auckland fleet is the newest in the country, the average age of our cars is still 12.2 years; this is just an average.

Vulnerable people

Older people on fixed incomes, struggling low-income families and young people who are just starting out in life tend to own older cars.

In Auckland, where public transport is still an issue in many parts of the city, people need their cars to get to work, to tertiary education, to shop, to worship and for daily life.

Every day my office sees people already suffering from the uncontrolled housing bubble with increased rent and mortgage repayments, increased insurances and other rising costs of living. It is worrying that these people will be whacked yet again simply because they cannot afford to purchase new or later model cars.

Daft Scheme

Charging more for older cars will not do much to increase the safety of the New Zealand fleet in any case. If a car has a warrant of fitness, it is legally on the road and it will be a legally driveable car on New Zealand roads until it is worn out.

Clive Matthew-Wilson from the Dog and Lemon Guide, who keeps a close eye on vehicle safety, has noted that risk assumptions made about some models of car are just plain wrong.

He has called on the government to scrap the whole scheme and start again, saying. “The ACC Rating Scheme was flawed from the start: even its fans admit that it will not make any difference to the cars that people buy. However, the scoring system for many vehicles appears to be even dafter than the scheme itself.”

This inequitable law punishes the elderly, young people and many families who are trying to do their best in tough times and it does not make cars on our roads any safer.

Jenny Salesa in an elected Member of Parliament from Manukau East Constituency and Labour Party’s Spokesperson for Employment, Skills and Training.

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