Public urged to have say on transport priorities

Transport Minister Phil Twyford is encouraging the public to have their say on the Government’s proposal to increase fuel excise duty by between 9 and 12 cents a litre over three years.

This was proposed in the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport released yesterday and includes an equivalent increase in road user charges paid by diesel and heavy vehicles.

“We have paid for our land transport system using fuel excise duty since 1927 and using road user charges since 1977. Money raised from these charges can only be spent on the land transport system, so it is important that people have a say on how much is paid and what it is spent on,” Phil Twyford said.

“Our proposed increase of between 3 and 4 cents a year over the next three years continues the track of recent years with charges going up by 3 cents a year in 2009 and 2010, 2 cents in 2012 and 3 cents again in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

“The estimated average cost of 3 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% increase in spending on local road improvements, a 96% increase in spending on regional roads and a 22% increase in local road maintenance along with an 81% increase in road safety and demand management.

“National Leader and former Transport Minister Simon Bridges was actively considering raising fuel excise duty further than this increase to pay for his handpicked expensive and “roads of National significance”. To now suggest a National government wouldn’t have raised this duty is fantasy,” Phil Twyford says.