Ardern left two taxes out of ‘fleeced’ fuel price claim

Earlier this week, when Jacinda Ardern said she thought motorists were being ‘fleeced’ by fuel companies, she left two taxes out of her calculations.

Stuff:  Auckland fuel tax and new excise tax left out of PM’s petrol tax calculations

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s calculation of how much extra tax Kiwis are paying at the petrol pump on Monday did not include the recent excise tax or Auckland’s Regional Fuel tax.

At a press conference on Monday, Ardern said consumers were being “fleeced” at the petrol pump, blaming this on the increased margins of petrol companies.

Between October 27, 2017 and September 28 this year, petrol prices have risen 39c, according to MBIE data – Ardern said just 6.8c of that increase was due to “taxes and levies.”

That 6.8c increase is made up of a 1.77c increase in Emissions Trading Scheme (EST) taxes and 5.04c of GST over the same period, MBIE data shows.

But the 10c a litre Auckland Regional Fuel Tax and 3.5c a litre fuel excise tax, introduced on September 30, were not included in the “taxes and levies” side of Ardern’s equation.

But a spokesman for the Prime Minister said her comments were “based on the most accurate information Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) had compiled at that time.”

In a statement to the Herald, an MBIE’s spokeswoman said: “current methodology does not accommodate regional prices or regional fuel taxes” in their fuel price calculations.

“Auckland City has recently introduced a regional fuel tax that will increase fuel prices in the Auckland region. Our current methodology does not accommodate regional prices or regional fuel taxes. We are developing a new methodology to replace our existing methodology that will include regional retail price differences in its measure.”

As for the 3.5c excise tax – that came into effect on September 30 and the MBIE data Ardern was referring to was taken from between September21-28, meaning it was not included in MBIE’s data either.

So Ardern could claim that sort of technically she was correct based on MBIE’s way of stating fuel taxes but it does look either sloppy or disingenuous.

Simon Bridges is trying to bark at an expensively fuelled passing car.

National Leader Simon Bridges said the Prime Minister has got this “badly wrong,” and has made a “staggering mistake.”

Bridges said in trying to defend her new fuel taxes, Ardern has shown “she doesn’t even know how much they are costing New Zealanders.”

Or doesn’t want motorists to know,

“The Prime Minister has been trying to blame fuel companies but a key driver of petrol prices is her Government’s higher taxes.”

But it has been pointed out (fairly) that Bridges didn’t bark until the shady figures were pointed out.


  1. Kitty Catkin

     /  October 12, 2018

    Plenty of people have realised that almost half the cost of petrol is tax.

    Which is worse, disingenuousness or sloppy accounting?

  2. alloytoo

     /  October 12, 2018

    I find it hard to believe that the PM overlooked the Auckland Regional Fuel.

    Frankly I don’t believe she actually cares.

    • Strong For Life

       /  October 12, 2018

      Of course she doesn’t care. Aside from dropping taxes, er… levies, which will not happen, there is nothing she can do to stem the rising prices. Wait until the price increases flow on to the price of groceries, wine, beer, dining out and much more. We then may see some action from the government, but I doubt it.

  3. PartisanZ

     /  October 12, 2018

    If one assumes that all things in politics are planned, I can’t imagine who planned this piece of bizarre talk from the PM, or why the PM would agree to utter it …?

    Two possibilities come to mind, neither mutually exclusive –

    1) It has a Winston Peters/Shane Jones ring to it, and to a lesser extent the Greens. A mindless media attack on businesses they are actually working in partnership with in ‘the real world’. It’s therefore possibly a kind of necessary Coalition Appeasement Activity … or what one might call “swallowing a live mouse” …

    2) In the political world where talk and action have successfully been separated from one another (purposely in order to facilitate Rogerednomics), what Jacinda says actually doesn’t matter at all … It’s effectively meaningless … And any unrelated action is postponed until after a working committee reports on it anyhow …


    But ‘democracy’ is okay … It functions fine …

  4. Corky

     /  October 12, 2018

    Proof postive socialism is bad for your morality, car and standard of living.

    ”I think @simonjbridges is right that it’s unbelievable any prime minister could be so incompetent.”

    Not for me it isn’t. I was praying for this government to win the election…now you know why.

  5. Toro

     /  October 12, 2018

    So the Prime Minister was right.

    • Gezza

       /  October 12, 2018

      So the Prime Minister was bullshitting again. But the media let her.

  6. Blazer

     /  October 13, 2018

    Auckland is NOT NZ.