Local National Party MPs Simon Bridges and Todd Muller are calling on the Labour Party to rule out a fuel tax hike for Tauranga.
Their concern comes after Labour Party leader Jacinda Arden announced plans to partly fund proposed Auckland transport projects through a regional fuel tax.
"I know Tauranga and the Bay don’t want to fork out 10 cents more at the pump to pay for Labour’s transport policies,” says Todd.
"Labour has promised regional fuel taxes to fund its pet projects in Auckland, which is alarming locals who fear they’ll be next in line to pay more at the pump.
"We’re calling on Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson to rule out a regional fuel tax hike for Tauranga.
Simon says Tauranga residents are right to ‘fear’ Labour’s transport policies, because it will be ‘hardworking families who will end up out of pocket’.
"Regional taxes impose significant compliance costs to businesses and road users, and would result in much higher fuel prices for motorists in the Bay. Taking kids to their soccer game or getting to work in the morning will cost more, if Labour gets its way,” he says.
“National has invested heavily in our city’s transport. $120 million for the Baypark to Bayfair Link upgrade, which is expected to be completed by 2020, and over $520 million for the Tauranga Northern Link commencing 2018 – on top of the $1 billion delivered across the Bay of Plenty since we’ve been in government.
“All without sneaky regional tax hikes.”
However, Labour Party Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the party has no plans for a regional fuel tax anywhere outside of Auckland.
“We will be making transport announcements affecting Tauranga in the very near future. We have been clear we are committed to improving regional transport networks, making use of all modes of transport, including rail, roads and coastal shipping."