Decision on RUC extension expected before Christmas

In News3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineDecember 9, 2022

The Government is set to make a decision on whether it will extend its petrol and road user charge price reductions and public transport subsidy before Christmas, says Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand.

Last month, Transporting New Zealand wrote to Finance Minister Grant Robertson to seek an urgent decision on the continuation of the transport package in light of rising inflation.

“Grant Robertson said they are considering our request and will have a decision before Christmas,” ehief executive Nick Leggett told NZ Trucking.

The subsidies are set to end on 31 January 2023.

“At this point, the cost to fill a car will go up $10 to $15 overnight, the price of catching a bus or a train will double, and road user charges will increase 36%,” Leggett said.

He said the Government must extend the reductions and public transport subsidy “until inflation is well below 6%.”

A poll this week showed around 80% of people supported the continued subsidy on public transport.

Meanwhile, transporting New Zealand is continuing its push to keep the road user charge discount and fuel excise reductions in place.

“I think everything is pointing towards next year being tougher than this year. We want our businesses to do well and not be distracted from their key role of moving freight and delivering it to their customers,” Legget said.

“That is why Transporting New Zealand has called for the Government to extend the reduction in the excise tax on petrol, the RUC discount, and the public transport fare discount. These are all expected to end on 31 January next year. If that occurs, the impact on businesses and the public will be significant.”

“It’s not fair to load extra costs on families and businesses at a time when everything they need on a daily basis is going up,” he said.

“This is a real and direct way in which the Government can ease cost of living pressure for every New Zealander.

“Make no mistake, reinstating these taxes on 31 January will add significantly to weekly costs for every New Zealand family, in multiple ways.”

Transporting New Zealand is welcoming feedback on this issue.