Most Kiwis don’t realise it, but come 31st January, the cost to fill their car will go up $10 to $15 overnight, the price of catching a bus or a train will double, and their road user charges will increase 36% – at a time when inflation is projected to rise again.

That’s the warning from road transport peak body, Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand, who are calling on the Government to extend its petrol and road user charge price reductions, and public transport subsidy, “until inflation is well below 6%.”

Transporting New Zealand Chief Executive, Nick Leggett, says that with yesterday’s Reserve Bank projection, inflation is expected to increase to 7.5% early next year.

“It’s not fair to load extra costs on families and businesses at a time when everything they need on a daily basis, is going up. This is a real and direct way in which the Government can ease cost of living pressure for every New Zealander. The impact will be felt at the pump, in the supermarket and on buses and trains,” he said.

Transporting New Zealand has had economic advice on the impact of extending the subsidy and is convinced that it should continue until families and businesses are better able to cope with increased costs. Not only would the decision to stop the rebate now load costs onto struggling businesses and households, it would also add to inflation.

“Treasury calculations show that when the transport package was introduced in April of this year, it contributed to a reduction to inflation of 0.5%, so that would work in reverse, too. We could end up with even higher inflation – at 8% next year.

“Make no mistake, reinstating these taxes on 31 January will add significantly to weekly costs for every New Zealand family, in multiple ways.

“Transporting New Zealand is writing to Finance Minister, Grant Robertson to seek an urgent decision on the continuation of the transport package, so New Zealanders know one way or another and can plan.”

For further information, contact Nick Leggett, chief executive, Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand, 021 248 2175.

Please note: The content of this Advisory has been issued to inform members of Transporting New Zealand. It is for road freight transport industry circulation, not for media publication. It can be forwarded in its entirety to members of Transporting New Zealand. It cannot be reproduced, or printed in parts, under any logo other than Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand’s logo, without written permission from Transporting New Zealand.