Petrol prices: Nats say money sitting idle, Auckland regional fuel tax must go
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Fuel taxes are under attack, with opposition politicians saying the Government has done nothing to counter rising petrol prices.
The Government says a whimsical global environment is largely the reason prices have gone as high as $3 a litre in recent days.
National Party leader Christopher Luxon today lambasted the Auckland regional fuel tax, which is 10 cents per litre plus GST.
The tax is supposed to support transport projects that would otherwise be delayed or go begging.
"Less than half of it's actually been spent on projects," Luxon said today. "We don't think we need a regional fuel tax."
"It's not just an Auckland issue," National's finance spokesman Simon Bridges said. "And these guys at the moment aren't even sure how to spend it."
Bridges said some international events were to blame for prices, but the Government also had a role.
"About a third of that on any given day is tax ... and they have increased those taxes in their four years in office."
"Many other countries are experiencing the same insecurity, based on issues that are outside of any country's control at the moment," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today.
Brent Crude was US$92.69 early this afternoon, up from about US$67.45 on December 1.
"We of course continue to monitor the market, do what we can domestically," Ardern said.
But she said New Zealand was "at the whim of a tough international environment".
Transport Minister Michael Wood's office said global crude oil prices largely influenced rising petrol prices.
Apart from that, he said importer costs, levies, the emissions trading scheme, and importer margins influenced prices.
Wood said margins for fuel firms were down after he wrote in December asking why margins were so high.
Petrol price app Gaspy's users were reporting prices for 91 ranging from $2.64 to $2.86 in central Auckland and $2.49 to $2.86 a litre in greater Wellington this morning.
The price of unleaded 95 fuel surpassed $3 a litre at one Auckland gas station on Saturday.
Unleaded 91 was $2.66 and premium 98 was $3.07 at the same station.
Automobile Association principal advisor Terry Collins told the Herald import costs, supply problems, Omicron and international unrest were pushing fuel prices up.
- NZ Herald