Nats’ secret tax plan

Written By: - Date published: 11:18 am, October 10th, 2017 - 35 comments
Categories: accountability, election 2017, national, tax - Tags: , , ,

Good work form the Greens and Newsroom (Shane Cowlishaw):

Government investigating fuel tax hike

The Government has been investigating fuel tax increases to plug holes in its transport budget, despite ruling them out during the election campaign.

Before the election Labour announced it would, if elected, introduce a 10 cent regional fuel tax in Auckland to help meet transport costs, and suggested the Government was itself already modelling a nationwide fuel tax increase to pay for its new motorways.

National denied this, saying there were no plans for a fuel tax and pointing the finger at Labour as the party planning to raise taxes.

But, according to documents released to the Greens under the Official Information Act, the Government appears to have at least been considering the possibility.

A later briefing in July followed a request from Bridges for advice on the funding implications of delivering “nationally significant urban corridors in Auckland over the next decade”. One of the new roads of national significance is the $1b Mill Rd corridor in south Auckland.

A redacted graph is included in this briefing that appears to outline petrol excise duty alongside the Consumer Price Index.

In a separate document of internal Ministry analysis, however, a similar graph is unredacted and models a five cent fuel tax increase in 2018, followed by increases of between 10 to 20 cents over the next decade.

Significant increases.

Throughout the documents mention is made about the release of the Government’s policy statement on land transport funding (GPS 2018), essentially the transport budget for the year.

In an August briefing the Ministry noted the GPS was ready for release and included measures to plug most of the ATAP gap, with a target release date set for the end of the month before Parliament rose before the election.

The document has yet to be released.

Buried until after the election.

Newsroom wanted to talk to Bridges about the possibility of fuel tax increases and why the GPS had not been released to the public but his office declined, saying it was innappropriate considering the Government was in caretaker mode. …

Well well. Read the whole piece on Newsroom.

35 comments on “Nats’ secret tax plan”

  1. Tracey 1

    When Nat supporters respinded to 18 tax increases under National with “Meh” as opposed to outrage at Labour’s proposal the door for this was pushed wide open.

  2. red-blooded 2

    Good on Genter and the Greens for following this up. Of course, the lie and deflect strategy still did the job for the Nats, burying their own planning while letting them paint Labour as trying to raid people’s wallets.

  3. Ad 3

    Good to see either government squeezing tax out of oil for transport purposes before oil and petrol use for vehicles starts to really plateau, and with it the entire budget for roads, cycleways, motorways and footpaths.

    NZTA need to be weaned off oil tax funding as quickly as possilble. Simply raising the tax on transport fuel again and again treats petrol users the same way as smokers.

    I would want an adventurous government to pull in the funding currently used for EECA to be redirected towards electricity-reliant transport projects, and start a much faster transition from oil-reliant transport projects to electricity-reliant projects.

    Eventually it will need to pull in the Electricity Commission into an aggregated energy price regulator.

    • Good to see either government squeezing tax out of oil for transport purposes before oil and petrol use for vehicles starts to really plateau, and with it the entire budget for roads, cycleways, motorways and footpaths.

      You're still seeing the economy backwards.

      Simply raising the tax on transport fuel again and again treats petrol users the same way as smokers.

      They are, as a matter of fact, killing people and the environment. What’s wrong with putting that cost on to the users of petrol and diesel?

      • Ad 3.1.1

        I thought you would like that comparison.
        The cost is not unreasonable from an effects base as well.

  4. One Two 4

    Taxes are not required to be collected to build infrastructure

    That’s the conversation which should be happening

    • red-blooded 4.1

      Actually, that discussion has been happening. Think about the arguments over PPPA’s, and the ongoing discussions about borrowing for infrastructure (inter-generational cost sharing).

    • tc 4.2

      It is when users aren’t paying…..looking at major trucks and AWD vehicles here.

    • Ad 4.3

      You are already seeing far greater use of Special Purpose Vehicles like Crown infrastructure (a continuation of Crown Fibre ). They are conglomerations of Council, state, and developers, and it is intended that they will fund and operate their own infrastructure.

      https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/crown-company-invest-600m-housing-infrastructure

      The killer is that there is no vestige left of democratic accountability for the work. It’s purely in the interests of the private investor.

  5. UncookedSelachimorpha 5

    Like Phil Goff’s revenue proposals, the Nat’s proposed tax increases tend to be very flat rather than progressive – i.e. not preferentially aimed at the rich at all.

  6. mosa 6

    When Labour want to charge a levy its called a tax.

    When National want to charge a levy its called fund raising for infrastructure.

    • ” fund raising for infrastructure ”

      You got that in one. Such a euphemism ,… reminding one of the social community spirit surrounding a school fund raising event and being a ‘ one off ‘,… bloody load of old National party cobblers.

      • Skinny 6.1.1

        I am enjoying your comments your giving me a good laugh in between your serious ones.

        This soon to be gone caretaker regime were set to do another state asset sale. The privatisation of Rail. I can’t see Joyce telling Peters it is a bottom line that National intend selling his beloved Northland rail line to Chinese interests.

        Haha next minute talks over, new government ready to rock. Anyway I am sure Peters is going to spray Joyce on that dirty secret plan he knows about 🙂

        • WILD KATIPO 6.1.1.1

          Yes , we need a sense of humour and some fun to keep the bones young , … there’s so much to be outraged by these Nat crooks and deceivers but we’re gonna get them and their neo liberalism in the end.

          ‘Don’t let the bastards grind ya down ! ‘

          🙂

    • infused 6.2

      The left call it ‘crowd sourcing’

  7. greywarshark 7

    How about having some cake stalls to help the government to fund-raise for infrastructure that we need? That puts that peculiar phrase from Gnashional into perspective. The cakes could be appropriate for the classes – tortes for those into rorts, and muffins and cupcakes for us muppets and puppets.

  8. Once was Tim 8

    Quick question for anyone that knows. I know I know google is your friend etc. if one is not otherwise occupied.
    Does anyone know if Kordia is still in state hands as it should be?

    I’d hate to think the public’s airwaves had already been privatised but it wouldn’t surprise me. Just it makes resurrecting PSB, including Kids TV and a youth radio network harder, let alone providing Maori with the services they’re entitled to.

    Move to OM as you see fit

  9. Ad 9

    In a number of major cities we are now seeing Uber Green roll out, which specifies only using 100% electric vehicles:

    https://www.uber.com/en-ZA/blog/durban/ubergreenjhb/

    Hasn’t arrived here yet, but it will be a service that gets preferential treatment in bus lanes, pays zero fuel tax, and is entirely unregulated as a taxi service.

    Quite some disruption.

    • Ed 9.1

      Uber don’t pay their share of tax.

      ‘Labour’s Grant Robertson says Uber’s minuscule tax payment in New Zealand is a sign it’s time the Government cracked down on multinational tax avoidance.

      He says it’s a joke Uber paid just $9000 tax despite earning $1 million in revenue in New Zealand, and if it wants to operate here it should pay what others pay.

      “That’s just not fair. I mean ordinary working people pay their taxes here every week. So should companies here, and the Government should crack down on those who don’t,” he says.

      “It’s everyday New Zealanders that are losing out, because the costs of goods and services provided by the Government will end up being carried by hard-working taxpayers rather than by the big multinationals.’

      http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2016/07/labours-grant-robertson-uber-new-zealand-tax-bill-a-joke.html

      • Ad 9.1.1

        Queensland and London are clearly getting pretty fed up with them.

        NZTA are so disorganised with their perpetual restructure that they don’t have the capacity to really lift a finger against them. They are hollowing out our taxi industry like Amazon to bookstores.

        • Ed 9.1.1.1

          I would evict all these corporate bludgers.
          Sadly, I doubt Peters, Ardern and Shaw will take on these multi-national parasites.

      • indiana 9.1.2

        Is tax paid on revenue or profit in New Zealand?

      • infused 9.1.3

        Revenue doesn’t = profit. Something you lot don’t understand. It’s an overseas company, run overseas.

        • Ed 9.1.3.1

          You’re defending tax dodgers…..

        • AB 9.1.3.2

          Everyone here knows that businesses pay tax on profit not revenue. Uber’s costs must be extraordinarily high if their margin on $1M revenue is so small it results in only $9k in tax. Totally inefficient and no shareholder would have a bar of it if that was the case. But we know it’s not the case, and that it’s a con job to record profits overseas in low-tax jurisdictions.
          Uber’s business model relies on things that the rest of us pay taxes for, an education system so a skilled population has enough money to spend on taxis, a legal and justice system, roads to drive on…. and just having all sorts of sh*t that actually works. That they are not paying for these things while benefiting from them, makes them freeloaders and parasites who should be shut down.

          • Cricklewood 9.1.3.2.1

            Its running at a loss hence a very low tax bill. Its not unusual for large companies expanding internationally. Xero makes losses on huge amounts of revenue wonder how much tax they pay?
            Anyway if you taxed based on revenue rather than profit it would be very hard for a business to grow or invest in new equiptment…

  10. Cinny 10

    It really pisses me off how the government spun shite about taxes all through the election cycle and the media perpetuated it.

    I wonder how much air play this story will get? It should get plenty, but will it?

    judith collins investigation into competitive fuel pricing has done jack, feels like it was all for show, nothing else, nothing has changed.

    It’s pretty hard to keep infrastructure up to date with so many more road users pouring into nz, especially Auckland every year.

    Am sure the regional fuel tax question was raised at one of the debates during the election. I know Lisa Owen grilled simon bridges on The Nation about it, he fobbed her off by memory, saying something like it’s just a standard investigation, there’s nothing in it.
    Also am pretty sure I remember the amazing Julie-Anne Genter raising it in parliament not so long ago.

    Will see if i can find some links

  11. Cinny 11

    10 Aug 2017 – Question 8 – Julie Anne Genter to the Minister of Transport

    Does he agree with the Prime Minister’s reported statement that there is no need for a fuel tax to pay for Auckland’s transport?

    Julie Anne Genter: I seek leave to table the yet-to-be-released Auckland Transport Alignment Project report, which says the additional revenue from a fuel tax is not enough to plug the gap—

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! Leave is sought to table that particular document. Is there any objection? There is objection

    Transcript of The Nation interview with Bridges re the regional fuel tax
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1706/S00239/the-nation-lisa-owen-interviews-simon-bridges.htm

    • Ed 11.1

      They haven’t been caught out lying again…..

      • cleangreen 11.1.1

        I was today interviewing a NZTA manager about regional road repair funding and he slipped out a secret that National have earmarked another $50 milllion to add to the current budget of the national road repair budget so I asked have any of these funds already been associated and he said no it is the plan to raise another ‘income source’ to increase the road budgeting as the roads are now wearing out with the increased truck freight now hitting the roads, so if they are going for some increased taxes maybe the truck companies are going to be hit with inceased road use charges?

        I have not seen the spokesman for the Road Transport Assocoation “Ken Shirley say anythng about this as he was yesterday on RNZ ballyaching about trucking interests wanting upgraded roads for their members.

        Looks like we need to balence the freight back onto rail now and save the road repair bills and make our roads safer and the environment better also without more CO2 ???

        • Cinny 11.1.1.1

          Thanks for sharing CG wouldn’t surprise me at all.

          nationals way of raising another income source is not telling anyone about it until budget day, then hello undisclosed tax hikes or taking something away from the people, like the kiwisaver kick start etc, quick consultation with the national party thesaurus of propaganda to help choose appropriate words like… charge or levy.

          Far out yes please to rail, big time, and not 2nd hand diesel that needs asbestos removal carried out by flying in slave labour, or replacing electric with diesel, wtf national, wonder what their end game was with the diesel engine purchases. Profits for the red dragon puppet masters maybes, something stinks about it all.

          Makes me wonder who is profiting from building roads…

          Too many people descending on a country with out the infrastructure to cope. Two more sleeps.

  12. Philj 12

    Who is going to pay for Transmission Gully. According to the paper, no one knows yet! Really?

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