Family First Senator Bob Day has today lamented the Labor Opposition’s backflip on opposing fuel tax indexation, after Labor declared this morning they would no longer oppose the increase – provided it was spent on the Roads to Recovery program.
“Today’s announcement sees the two major parties locked in on jacking up fuel tax,” Senator Day said, “Any hope there might have been to curb fuel tax increases went out the window today. Now it falls to elements on the crossbench like Family First to fight for reducing family fuel costs.”
“The major parties should reject the indexation increase and yes, of course, spend the $1.1bn collected to date on regional roads – not public transport, as the Greens want. The government let the taxation genie out of the bottle, and the opposition has been captured by the allure of a big new tax channel.”
“For years governments have siphoned off the fuel excise into general revenue. If you caught your neighbour doing that, there’d be big trouble. Fuel excise was introduced on the ‘user pays’ principle, ie those who use the roads should pay for the roads.”
Senator Day says motorists currently pay many times to drive on some roads -and the excise increase would make it a further repeat payment for the same road, given: only some of the fuel excise is actually spent on roads; toll roads; and Asset Recycling which gives states a federal bonus for their roads if they privatise other assets.
“The money for our roads already exists in federal coffers. That money is being wasted on bureaucracies and crossing over state-federal responsibilities. Its time to stop taxing Australian families over and over again for what they have already paid for.”