Petrol taxes should be higher & Sugar tax now!

By   /   April 4, 2018  /   9 Comments

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…big sugar and big oil have had it too good for too long – the time is now to start taxing them!

National and their corporate media puppets are screaming about a 20cent petrol tax to fund the grotesque under investment in our roading and public transport infrastructure…

Motorways are out, safety and public transport in – but drivers will be hit in the pocket

National’s transport spokesman Jami-Lee Ross said that was peanuts compared to more than $5b being stripped out of the state highway network over the next 10 years which would have benefited the regions.

Ross said that left regional drivers “paying for trams in Auckland”.

“This is an extraordinary blow for regional New Zealand, from a Government which has claimed to stand behind it. Instead, the Government is saying their needs are secondary and ensuring tourists can get from the Auckland CBD to the airport is more pressing.”

…this hyperventilation by National will continue to paint public transport initiatives as latte sipping ‘nice-to-haves’ rather than a desperate need to turn investment into public transport.

It also misses the truth National were already planning this petrol tax rise, so painting it as something Labour have done is deceitful…


Climate change demands we start moving away from petrol and start investing in more cycleways, public transport while making the existing roading network safer. The new Government are at least providing real leadership and direction on this by forcing those who create the pollution and congestion to start paying more for it.

10-year transport plan highlights:

• Up to $4 billion over five years for light rail, starting in Auckland.
• Up to $720 million for other rail projects, including a trial of commuter rail between Tauranga, Hamilton and Auckland.
• An extra $200m a year on other public transport.
• Paid for by fuel tax increase of 9-12 cents a litre, introduced over three years.
• Spending on state highway upgrades to drop from about $8.5b to $6b over five years.
• Motorway upgrades already under way to be completed but future Roads of National Significance scrapped.
• Increased spending on road safety measures, including policing and possible lower speed limits.
• More paths for cyclists and pedestrians
• The draft plan will be open for submissions until May 2.

While the new Government are being so brave, it’s time to seriously consider a sugar tax because the University of Otago are pretty damning in their conclusion

A sugary drink tax will have a number of impacts/benefits including:

1. A price signal to the consumer to reduce consumption (makes an impact reduce obesity rates by around 1%, not massive but has an impact
2. A price signal to the industry to reformulate (i.e. reduce sugar content to move products down a tier). The health gain from this mechanism is probably twice that of the price signal to the consumer.
3. The incentives on industry to change marketing to less sugary drinks.

The researchers also refute a recent New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) report that argues against taxing sugary drinks. “This report, commissioned by the Ministry of Health, has some serious flaws,” says Professor Blakely.

“There have been at least nine good studies including a thoroughly researchedAustralian Grattan Institute report. Unfortunately the NZIER chose to include only one of the studies,” says Blakely.

Blakely says a soft drinks industry levy is something that could be put in place right now in New Zealand and would not tip the apple cart in light of macro-level rebalancing of our total tax system.

The World Health Organization recommends taxing sugary drinks. And here in New Zealand, the NZ Medical Association and the Heart Foundation recommend taxing sugary drinks.

…big sugar and big oil have had it too good for too long – the time is now to start taxing them!

Expect to start hearing the astro-turf Taxpayer’s Union screaming about sugar tax and petrol taxes as their clients begin funding counter narrative campaigns.

The new Government must show courage and not get spooked.

These people above mustn’t be allowed to dictate transport and health policy.

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  1. grant936 says:

    Does Labour actually want to stay in power because with this decision – you have to ask yourself that question.

    The new fuel levy, whilst making Green voters giddy with happiness, will have the most impact on the working poor – those voters who need to utilize a car to either get their kids to school or get to work.

    Think about the people in Sth Auckland who are working minimum wage jobs and need to utilize a car to get across Auckland to get to work – their cost of living has just jumped and their family has just become that little bit poorer.

    • bert says:

      I agree Grant936 let’s do what National did…nothing and by doing nothing we’re in this mess.

      Give me your best alternative solution?

      • grant936 says:

        How about increase taxes on higher income earners and then divert that income to roads.

        Explain to me again – what effect does this measure have on those on low e.g. minimum wage jobs , earning circa $19 an hour?

        Will it increase their disposable income or will it decrease?

        If you agree that it will decrease their available disposable income – how is that fair to a family barely getting by in Auckland

        Or are they just supposed to suck it up?

        • Sam Sam says:

          Using a consumption tax to signal to the markets scarcity doesn’t work when the polls have already melted. But that doesn’t mean to say we won’t pay the price. We will pay the price either through a market mechanism or the dead hand of capitalism.

  2. Nitrium Nitrium says:

    A “sugar tax” will do next to nothing to address obesity since it is fast carbohydrates generally that is the root cause of the issue. Indeed, two slices of bread are metabolically identical to six teaspoons of straight sugar, since all carbohydrates are reduced to their simple sugar components in 20 minutes to an hour. This can be trivially proved to anyone who doubts this with a glucose meter (which measures blood sugar levels) that can be had for $40 or so.
    Carbohydrates are NOT an essential food group. You can live perfectly well without
    any carbohydrate intake. The obesity epidemic can only be addressed once bread, pasta, potatoes, rice etc (yes, the very staples of Western diets) are significantly reduced (or removed) from our meals.

  3. bruce says:

    I want holiday trains, all this is to get people to work on time as cheap as possible. Commute to work. People need holidays, trains to take them when they are exhausted to Opua, Tauranga, or Dargaville for a weekend away. Use water taxis, bicycles tuk tuks locally.
    Even tourists can train from the airport to where ever before they hire their vans, get a bit of traffic of the road .

  4. Marc says:

    The problem is, like the middle class small style property investor in one to two or three rentals, being a petty capitalist, the middle class two car household consumer and waste citizen will rebel.

    NZers, that is the ones I just describe, mostly National, at times Labour Light swing voters, they love their convenience, their US American life style, their consumerism and endless BS.

    They are happy to ‘sacrifice’ one way plastic shopping bags, and perhaps they even put up with ‘organic waste collection’ by Council, BUT, putting the price of petrol or Diesel up, for their beloved little SUVs and so forth, NO, NO, NO, we cannot have that.

    This is the hypocrisy of NZers I have repeatedly been writing about, they are true HYPOCRITES, the urban ones, as the rural ones, I can forgive, there are NO buses and so, you need a car, a ute, a tractor to live in the countryside.

    But the urban middle class spread, the suburbanites, I have to tell you, F You, get a life, you do NOT need a petrol driven car or SUV, you have TWO legs, you can cycle, walk, use a bus or train, and to get that established, we ALL need to invest and make sacrifices, and that may just mean, paying a bit more for your damned petrol, which should be phased out anyway.

    If NZers carry on as usual, I call on ALL consumers in Europe, the US, Canada, and Asia, to boycott NZ products, as they are hypocrites, if they do NOT lead the way into sustainability and into a truly greener economy.

    So take that, middle class wannabe and lazy jerks, who just do not want to change, some will, and the rest better wake up and learn that the future will require change, for your damned kid’s sake, thanks.

  5. John W says:

    Quantitative easy will pay for necessary infrastructure and social support development.

    Easy stuff.

    Banks do it every day big time but for their private profit. We allow that.

  6. Helena says:

    Anyone up with the information coming out now that airliners DO NOT RUN ON AVIATION FUEL.
    We are being scammed big time.

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