2009-03-13

Regional fuel tax decision avoids colour coded diesel

“The spectre of UK-style colour coded diesel has been avoided by National dumping the previous Government’s proposed Regional Fuel Tax (RFT),” says Don Aubrey, Federated Farmers transport spokesperson.

If the RFT was introduced at a rate of up to 10c per litre of petrol and diesel, a form of refund system or way to identify tax-free diesel for non-road use would have been required. With off-road diesel representing 40 percent of all diesel sold and farmers using 90 percent of the diesel they purchase on-farm, this was a major cause of objection by the Federation. In other countries, like the UK, colour coding is used to denote taxed and tax-free diesel, creating, in itself, a policing issue.

“We congratulate the Government for scrapping the RFT as it was a dog with fleas. Rural folk would have subsidised urban transportation and that grates, since the term ‘rural public transport’ seems to be an oxymoron,” Mr Aubrey added.

“The RFT was as subtle a tax on transportation as a brick through a plate glass window. It would have hit users, particularly farmers, whose machinery never goes anywhere near a motorway, urban arterial road, or even an electric railway.

“If the Government had gone down the UK route and colour coded off-road diesel, so it couldn’t be used or sold for on-road use, some form of policing and random checks would have been necessary.

“Imagine the expense and waste of time if police or traffic wardens were to swoop down on a farmer in places like Gore, just to check they had the right colour diesel in their fuel tank.

“I think a ‘diesel police’ or a refund bureaucracy would have been an expensive nightmare negating any financial benefit the RFT might have delivered.

“New Zealand has a remarkably simple and effective system of road user charges, so why change something that isn’t broken?” Mr Aubrey concluded.

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1 comment:

  1. Does that mean that you don't have red diesel there mad bush? Here it has been a way of life ever since I came into farming. There is some exploitation of the system - I believe that in parts of Ireland there is quite a trade as there is some method of taking out the dye. If I remember from the item I saw on the news, the chemical used to take out the dye is very hardful to wildlife.

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