SunLive         

I visited a top performing car yard in Mt Maunganui recently. There were hundreds of cars on the lot. Many of these would incur a price increase of up to $6350 if the Government’s new tax on vehicles goes ahead.

I have been a strong advocate for electric vehicles and I have owned two. When I was the Minister for Transport, National’s policies saw the number or EVs on our roads jump from 1406 in May 2016 to 14,867 in June 2019.

We are a country that needs bigger vehicles. They are essential for our farmers and tradies. Penalising those that don’t have other options is unfair. If you are a mum with three kids and three car seats, you can't travel in a Suzuki Swift. Many families are struggling to make ends meet and buying a newer car is not possible.

This is another example of the Government penalising hardworking Kiwis with an ill-thought-through policy. The Government is finding creative ways of introducing taxes as ‘small fees’.

This Government is trying to sell the policy as ‘revenue neutral’ but figures show that even if the uptake of low emission cars doubles, it will still result in almost half a billion dollars more being taken from Kiwi families.

Setting aside the big numbers, the true cost here is the extra few grand a mum and dad with three kids will pay for a used seven-seater van, just so a banker can buy a cheaper Tesla.

We need to incentivise, not penalise

Simon Bridges
National Party Leader
simonbridges.co.nz