Fuel tax 'not as good as I want' - Auckland Mayor Phil Goff

The AM Show 01/05/2018

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says the regional fuel tax is "not as good" as he wants, but it will still make strides towards easing congestion around the city.

Auckland Council voted in favour of adopting the fuel tax, after 15 councillors approved the motion.

It's not as good as I want.

The tax on petrol and diesel, of 11.5 cents per litre for 10 years maximum, is expected to raise about $150 million per year to fund transport infrastructure for Auckland.

"It's not as good as I want," Mr Goff told The AM Show.

"What I've got to get is the balance of what you guys want to pay extra for your petrol and what we need for the city.

"I won't be spending as much as I think we should be spending, but I won't be hammering the ratepayer anywhere near as much as would otherwise be the case."

However, Mr Goff says it will still make a "major difference".

"It will ease congestion for public transport because there will be more buses on freeways," he says.

"It will hold congestion at about 2016 levels."

But if National leader Simon Bridges wins the next election, the fuel tax could be dumped.

Mr Bridges called the regional tax a “punishment” for Auckland locals, who he believes are paying up due to the Council and Government’s lack of fiscal discipline.

"Regional fuel taxes are unfair on New Zealanders. They are regressive, and hit poorer New Zealanders the hardest. The fuel taxes the Government has announced will leave a typical Auckland family around $700 a year out of pocket," Mr Bridges said.

Watch the full interview with Phil Goff above.

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