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Proposal to slug motorists with 10 cents/litre more tax on petrol.

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Federal Member for Wannon

Hamilton Office 190 Gray St, HAMILTON VIC 3300 Warrnambool Office 73 Kepler St WARRNAMBOOL VIC 3280 Freecall 1300 131 692 E W

Federal Member for Wannon

13 August 2009


The Rudd Government must immediately rule out a savage increase in fuel excise which has been proposed to the Henry Tax Review and would hit Western Victorians particularly hard, Federal Member for Wannon David Hawker said today.

A proposal put to Treasury Secretary Ken Henry has put forward the idea that the tax on fuel bought by the average motorist should go up by 10 cents a litre, with extra costs imposed on trucks.

“We know Labor lives and dreams the idea of new and increased taxes,” Mr Hawker said.

“The Keating Government promised at election time that it would not increase fuel taxes but at its very next budget massively increased fuel excise and indexed the tax. Rudd Labor proposes major increases in fuel costs through its CPRS taxes and is now obviously considering even more taxes on fuel,” he said.

Last November, a senior Labor minister said the introduction of congestion charging was ‘a welcome step’. A few months earlier, Dr Henry himself alluded publicly to increased diesel fuel excise for heavy vehicle operators being a ‘pre-condition for other, more important, land transport reforms’.

“Rudd Labor seems to have totally ignored the fact that people living in regional areas have to drive further each day to go to work, take their kids to school or got to the doctor, compared to their city cousins. In most cases, there is no public transport network to fall back on either,” Mr Hawker said.

“Why should country people pay more to drive on dirt roads?

“People who drive further are already paying more tax - that is what the existing fuel excise scheme of 38 cents per litre imposes. Increasing that excise would do nothing more than fill Treasury’s coffers. That is probably the Government’s plan, as it scrambles for a way to pay off its giant cash splashes,” Mr Hawker said.

“The extra cost of fuel always flows through to increased prices on everything we buy. The Coalition recognised this in 2001 when we put a freeze on fuel excise - a step which today saves motorists about 8 cents on every litre.

“The idea of every vehicle in Australia carrying a Government-monitored tracking device to track when and where they are travelling also causes very deep concern.

“The Government must immediately rule out these new tax slugs on every motorist,” Mr Hawker said.

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Media contact: Jane Templeton (02) 6277 4118