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Who taxed your petrol the most - Labour or National?

Newshub logoNewshub 7/11/2018 Mitchell Alexander

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National has been blaming the Government for rising fuel prices, saying the new taxes are to blame for how much we're paying at the pump.

But Newshub's done the maths and can reveal that the Labour and National are just as bad as each other.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment data show since 1970, National Governments have imposed 34.51 cents a litre of fuel taxes.

Labour Governments have increased taxes by 35.47 cents a litre.

The figures calculated are based on a petrol price of $2.39 as at October 25, 2018. They don't include the Auckland regional fuel tax, where residents are paying an extra 11.5c a litre (including GST).

ACT leader David Seymour told Newshub it's a total farce - petrol providers shouldn't be the target for rising prices.

"Jacinda blames the petrol companies, Simon blames the Labour Party. The truth is, both Labour and National have put 35 cents each on petrol tax during their times. The real thing the Commerce Commission should be looking at is the cosy Labour-National duopoly, where they both blame each other and they both screw the motorist."

The Government's passed a law allowing the Commerce Commission to investigate anti-competitive behaviour, which will allow a market study into the fuel industry to start by the end of the year. But David Seymour thinks fuel shouldn't be the focus.

"What should happen is we look at all the taxes people pay. People forget they've paid so much income tax before they even get to the pump - the biggest tax isn't the petrol tax, but the income tax. I'd look at the petrol tax, I'd look at the GST, I'd look at the income tax, when the Government spends as much money as it does - no wonder families are hurting."

Petrol prices could hit $2.70 by next year, according to one economist. © Video - The AM Show; Image - file Petrol prices could hit $2.70 by next year, according to one economist. The price people pay for a litre of petrol is made up of the imported cost of the petrol, taxes such as fuel excise (69.984 cents per litre), ETS and GST, shipping costs and an importer margin.

AA PetrolWatch spokesperson Mark Stockdale revealed the highest national price recorded this year was $2.489 a litre for 91 in October. The price reached $2.639 a litre in Queenstown and Wanaka.

Jacinda Ardern told Newshub she won't put a freeze on increases.

"Excise is the equivalent in one year of roughly a 3.5 cent increase. That 3.5 cents doesn't take into account the impact we've seen in some cases a 40 cent increase over a year for consumers. If that 3.5 cents went, it would come straight out of roading initiatives and alternative transport options, and I cannot guarantee it would just be absorbed by the fuel companies."

Ms Ardern still thinks fuel companies should be looked into.

"The fact that we've have a period where across the country you can see 40 cents in variation on any given day, tells me this is right for a market study."

In October the Prime Minister ruled out more regional fuel taxes under her leadership. That's despite documents showing Transport Minister Phil Twyford encouraged Hamilton City Council to pursue the idea with officials to increase the likelihood of a successful application.

a screen shot of a person © Provided by MediaWorks NZ Limited And more fuel increases could be on the way, with ACC wanting to increase its levy on petrol by 1.9 cents a litre and raise the average annual levy on car registrations from $113.94 to $127.68 a year.

Asked about National's role in increasing fuel taxes, Mr Bridges pointed the finger at the current Government.

"If you look at what we did, it was a time of decline in petrol prices, that's different here. This Government is doing it faster and more significantly, that's really hurting Kiwis. I say in terms of the new taxes, they shouldn't be going on at time when prices are already hurting people."

Meanwhile Deputy Prime Minister and New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says National shouldn't be blaming them.

"The National Party's record was an increase of 59 percent, now Mr Bridges is shouting he's as purest as snow - he's not.

"The only good thing they've done in the last two decades is spending the money on the purpose it was collected. Before that we went decades of every $2 collected, $1 going to something else like the consolidated fund. It was an awful betrayal of the infrastructure needs of New Zealand. We're still, paying the price for that."

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