Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Cost-of-living transport support package extended

The Road User Charges (Temporary RUC Reduction Scheme) Amendment Bill passed all stages in Parliament today and is set to deliver extra cost-of-living support to families and businesses says Transport Minister, Michael Wood.

“The passing of the RUC Amendment Bill today means that full extension to our transport cost-of-living support package is now in place,” Mr Wood said.  

“New Zealanders are still experiencing the impacts of global inflation and rising costs of goods and services, this package of supports won’t solve the crisis, but is our first step in dealing with some of the persistent cost pressures on businesses and families.”

The RUC reduction is part of an extension of the Government’s transport support package to support New Zealanders feeling in response to high fuel prices following Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and includes:

  • 25 cents per litre petrol excise duty cut extended to 30 June 2023 – reducing an average 60 litre tank of petrol by $17.25;
  • Road User Charge discount will be re-introduced and continue through until 30 June;
  • Half price public transport fares extended to the end of June 2023 saving an average person who pays two $5 fares a day $25 a week;
  • Half price public transport made permanent to around one million Community Service Card holders, including tertiary students, from 1 July 2023.

“The reduced RUC rates will make it cheaper for families to get where they need to go, and this support will decrease the operating costs for light and heavy diesel vehicles transporting much needed goods and services,” Minister Wood said.

“Waka Kotahi will undertake spot checks of large or suspicious purchases and, where appropriate, take enforcement action. Enforcement action could include the charging of unused road user charges at the non-reduced rate.”

Waka Kotahi will apply the reduction across all legislated rates of road user charges, effective 1 March 2023.

“These measures will make a real difference for people feeling cost of living pressures. Extending the reductions to fuel excise duty and road user charges will also help to reduce the road transport sector’s fuel costs, and in doing so keeping the cost of food and essential goods lower,” Mr Wood said.

Protections put in place in 2022 to ensure the integrity of the system will remain in place, the Minister said.

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