JAG Gets an Apology from Simon Bridges

National party

Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges has today apologised to Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter for releasing false information about the government’s car tax.

In recent statements, National claimed Labour’s car tax would increase the cost of some of New Zealand’s most popular vehicles by up to $3000. We were basing this on information in the government’s Clean Car Discount Scheme.

But we’ve since had a good look at another piece of work by the government – its Clean Car Standard Scheme – and discovered even more hidden costs.

The truth is, the actual cost of Julie Anne Genter’s car tax on Kiwis could be more than $6000 per vehicle.

Alongside the government’s plan to tax higher-emissions vehicles, it is proposing a vehicle emissions target, meaning importers will be charged a penalty of between $50 and $100 per gram of CO2 on vehicles that don’t come in under the target from 2025.

That could slap an extra $4500 onto the import cost of an average new car and an extra $2250 onto the cost of an average used car – costs that will almost certainly be passed on to buyers.

More than 91 per cent of the vehicles being imported into the country today don’t satisfy the minister’s emissions expectations, so this could be a massive tax grab for the government.

Julie Anne Genter wants to tell Kiwis what cars they can and cannot drive and to dictate to dealers what cars they can and cannot sell.

She’s clearly spent too much time in Wellington and not enough in the regions because she hasn’t clicked that not all New Zealanders have low-emission vehicle options that fit their lifestyle.

What, then, are car dealers in Feilding, Greymouth and Dargaville supposed to do? They can’t just start selling cars their customers don’t want.

I’d like to say sorry to the minister for underestimating the true cost of this tax on hard-working New Zealanders, which she thinks is just a ‘small fee’ they’ll be happy to pay.

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