Tax the Van, Discount the Tesla

Do you remember when Jacinda promised no more taxes at the 2017 election? Now we have additional fuel taxes, tourist levies and an extended Bright Line test, just to mention a few.

Well, it is not over yet.

The Government is signalling its intention to slash the price of imported electric and hybrid vehicles by up to $8000 in a bid to make greener cars cheaper for Kiwis.
But it is also planning to slap a new fee of up to $3000 on the import of vehicles with the highest greenhouse gas emissions.
The Government has today opened a six-week consultation period before it introduces new legislation in Parliament later this year.
The plan, according to Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter, will get more Kiwis into cleaner vehicles by reducing some of the cost burden.

So they are proposing discounts for people who buy EVs or hybrids, even though those people are generally better off and more likely to be able to afford the full price. This is just more middle class welfare as far as I can see.

But wait! There’s more…

For example, a new Hyundai Ioniq – which has an approximate retail value of just under $60,000 – would cost $52,000 after the full $8000 discount.

A used Mazda Axela, which is one of New Zealand’s most popular imported vehicles, would cost $7200 after an $800 discount.
But a new Land Rover Sports V8 would be slapped with a $3000 high-emissions fee.
A $22,000 Toyota Hiace would cost an extra $1400 after the fee was applied.

Another slap in the face for rural New Zealand… not to mention tradespeople, and anyone who has to travel any distance (such as salespeople) or tow anything… ever.

Genter said the policy would be cost neutral – meaning the money gained through the fees from higher emitting vehicles would offset the subsidies provided to the lower emission cars.

That is her sop to people who complain about giving discounts to the wealthy, but it is still unacceptable. If you can afford an EV, at a cost of about $70,000, then you can damn well pay for it yourself. I don’t see why I should subsidise it.

“This means people will still have choice, while contributing to the task of cleaning up the vehicles coming into New Zealand.”

A Newspaper.

Under a government that promised no new taxes (read my lips), this is yet another tax. They may be denying it, but that is what it is. A tax on non-electric vehicles.

We won’t mention at this point that electric vehicles have a bigger carbon footprint than a petrol or diesel vehicle at the manufacturing stage, because they are climate Nazis and there is no point. No one in this government, particularly in the Greens, is going to want to hear anything like that, even if it is true.

I really do think, however, that this could be the undoing of this government.

New Zealand cities are small by world standards, and even most city dwellers like to get out and about at the weekends – go to the beach, go bush walking, go skiing, take the boat out. This means that almost all recreational activities are going to be subject, sooner or later, to this environmental tax.

Large numbers of New Zealanders live outside the cities, in small towns or rural areas, and for them, EVs are useless.

What if you are a tradesperson who needs a van to use for work? What if you do a round trip of 40 kms each day to work? What if you are a farmer? A digger driver? A construction worker? A cleaner who needs to go to numerous locations? A building inspector?

What if you live in Manurewa, work in Newmarket at a cleaning job that pays $18 per hour? How are you going to fund an EV?

In other words, if you are a soy latte drinking city dwelling office worker, you’ll be sweet. Everyone else – also known as the backbone of New Zealand – is going to be penalised for needing to use a work vehicle.

This government seems to be hellbent on destroying all of our primary and secondary industries… and they wonder why business confidence is through the floor?

This could be this government’s ‘shower head and lightbulb’ moment. Imposing further taxes on vehicles that people need to use for work, while giving discounts to those who never will is economic lunacy.

Please, please, please pass this into law, Julie-Ann Genter. It won’t apply until 2021. At the next election, both National and ACT can campaign on getting rid of this tax and the government will be exposed for the economic jihadists that they really are. The voters can then tell them what they think at the ballot box.