National Party pledges to scrap regional fuel tax
The National Party will repeal the proposed regional fuel tax if it is elected in 2020, leader Simon Bridges has confirmed this morning.
Legislation to allow the tax is currently making its way through Parliament, and Auckland Council will vote today on whether it will move ahead with the idea.
A fuel tax has been proposed to help raise funds to fix Auckland's traffic congestion woes.
Under the plan, Aucklanders will pay an extra 11.5 cents a litre for their petrol by July.
In a speech this morning, the National Party leader said a regional fuel tax is unfair and would be repealed if National was in power.
Mr Bridges said infrastructure projects should be funded through the national budget and a regional tax will leave Auckland families about $700 out o f pocket each year.
Mr Bridges told Morning Report the tax was unfair and unnecessary.
"We've got a situation at the moment with rising revenues and hard-working Kiwis not needing to pay yet another tax.
"If you manage things well, if you don't have the wrong kind of spending, you can do infrastructure and you don't need new taxes."'You don't need to tax hard-working New Zealanders more' - Simon Bridges duration 6â²â:39â³ from Morning Report Add to playlistPlaylist Download
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Mr Bridges said he would also scrap the regional development fund, because it was a "terrible policy", overseen by the minister Shane Jones.
"It will shift businesses from focusing on becoming more produ ctive to chasing a subsidy from Matua Shane."
Mr Bridges also said policies like fees-free tertiary and a halt to most oil and gas exploration would slow the New Zealand economy, not speed it up.
In his speech Mr Bridges also said law and order was a priority for the National Party, particularly with his background as a prosecutor.
"It bothers me that the government is planning to slash the prison population by a third, without explaining how it will lower the crime rate first."
The only way it could do that quickly is to make it harder to send someone to prison, said Mr Bridges.
It was concerning the Corrections Minister was looking to relax bail and sentencing law for "serious and violent criminals", he said, and increasing thresholds for the police to prosecute.
"I know from experience that as things stand only the most serious offenders get sent to prison - and the government wants to raise the bar further.& quot;
The government should be looking at rehabilitation and prevention, said Mr Bridges, not "just making it easier to get out of jail".
In the next few months the National leader will embark upon a "roadshow" around the country, to "connect with our communities and talk to as many New Zealanders from as many walks of life as possible".Source: Google News