Fuel prices could be set to increase by up to 12 cents a litre after a new government proposal to hike fuel excise duty.
The plan, announced on Tuesday, April 3, would see the price of petrol increase by between nine and 12 cents a litre over three years, with equivalent increases in road user charges paid by diesel and heavy vehicles.
Transport minister Phil Tyword defended the move.
“The estimated average cost of three cents a litre extra for a driver of an average car filling up a 50 litre tank once a fortnight is around 75 cents a week, or $39 a year.
“The funding increase will go toward a 42 percent increase in spending on local road improvements, a 96 percent increase in spending on regional roads and a 22 percent increase in local road maintenance, along with an 81 percent increase in road safety and demand management,” he said.
However, Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean said the increase would hit the region’s drivers hard and pledged to fight back.
“Central Otago motorists will pay an extra $10 to $15 every time they fill up. That’s hard on the pocket and hard on families living in rural areas who have to travel long distances for education and health needs.
“It also won’t be long before the extra fuel costs are added on to the price of groceries and other items, which need to be transported to rural areas, making communities across this region pay twice. In addition, Central Otago people could be paying an additional 10 cents a litre under the regional fuel tax legislation the Government introduced last week.
“The National Party will strongly oppose these planned changes and I will fight for our community against this attempt by the Government to take even more money out of the back pockets of Central Otago families,” she said.
Image: Fuel prices at both Ardmore Street stations this week. Wanaka, NZ
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