AAA Welcomes Fuel Tax Inquiry But Concerned About Limitations
The Executive Director of the Australian Automobile Association, Lauchlan McIntosh, has welcomed the appointment of an expert panel to conduct the long-awaited fuel tax inquiry.
He said today that AAA would work constructively with the Inquiry and would be putting in a detailed submission.
"We do have some concern about the limitations placed on the inquiry by the Terms of Reference. If the inquiry is to have any chance of producing genuine reform of the fuel tax system, it needs the freedom to look at all aspects of fuel tax," Mr. McIntosh said.
"It’s interesting to note that the Government has quarantined Energy Credits, the Diesel and Alternative Fuel Grants Scheme, the Diesel Fuel Rebate Scheme and the Resource Rent Tax, but at the same time has not specifically quarantined the abolition of indexation, which it announced only recently.
"It’s also interesting to note that the Government has not insisted on budget revenue neutrality. The inquiry has only been asked to ‘take into account the government’s wish to achieve overall budget neutrality’ and this is welcome as any insistence on neutrality would have doomed the inquiry to fiddling within the current framework rather than reform.
"I’m also pleased to see panel members from the oil industry and service stations but am a little surprised that there is no representative from the trucking industry and no consumer member representing motorists.
"With taxation making up half the cost of petrol in Australia AAA will argue in its submission that there needs to be a link between roads and fuel tax. We will also be pressing to separate the taxes motorists pay and charges for use of the road network.
"Finally AAA would like to see the Inquiry commit to an interim or progress report in September / October this year as we believe motorists will expect some indication of where the inquiry is going before the federal election," Mr. McIntosh said.