A fortnight ago I wrote about the increasing burden of new and increased taxes the Government is imposing on hard-working Kiwis. Well they’ve gone and proposed yet another one. A poorly directed car tax that would strike another blow to people trying to get ahead. Despite the Government trying to dress it up as a cost-neutral subsidy on electric vehicles, it essentially boils down to a tax on people who cannot afford to change, or who don’t have alternatives.
A family of five will struggle in a Suzuki Swift and you can’t fit many fence posts or PVC pipes in the back of a Nissan Leaf. Yet these are the sorts of people who will be hit hardest by the car tax plan. Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter describes these as ‘small fees’, but for those already struggling with the cost of living, these are substantial costs.
Earlier this year, the Productivity Commission noted that “feebate” schemes hurt lower income earners more and that the single biggest boost to wellbeing for low income earners in recent decades was the accessibility of low-cost, used Japanese imports. The Government’s plan won’t help them.
he previous National Government set an ambitious target of having 64,000 new electric vehicles registered in New Zealand by 2021. We also extended the exemption from Road User Charges for electric vehicle owners, which effectively operates as a subsidy worth $600 a year. Our policies saw the number of EVs on our roads increase from 1406 in May 2016 to 14,867 in June 2019 without penalising people.
New Zealanders simply can’t trust the Labour-led Government when it comes to tax and this is another example of them trying to shoehorn in another sneaky tax grab.