Opposition Tax Measures of Limited Benefit to Motorists


The additional $150 million promised for road infrastructure by the Federal Opposition has been welcomed by the Australian Automobile Association.

However, disappointment was expressed by the national motoring body over Labor's failure to address the need for fuel tax reform.


AAA Executive Director, Lauchlan McIntosh, said that, although the extra road funds could be put to good use, it was regrettable that the Opposition was continuing the ad hoc approach to transport infrastructure taken by successive governments.


"It is time that the exorbitant and inequitable fuel excise regime was abandoned and a direct link established between fuel tax and road funding via an explicit road user charge," Mr McIntosh said.


He said that increasing the import duty on four-wheel-drive vehicles to the same rate applying to passenger cars was not unreasonable.


"4WDs are often bought because motorists believe them to be safer, which is not always the case, and they also tend to use more fuel.


"However, the import duty adjustment should be phased in so that it is revenue neutral.


"There is also a good case for reducing the import duty on micro/light passenger cars on environmental grounds, as recommended by the Industry Commission, since local manufacture of these cars is unlikely," Mr McIntosh said.

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