How much motorists will save after Government's fuel tax reduction

There's mild relief coming for motorists: the Government has announced it will slash fuel taxes by 25 cents a litre from midnight on Monday. 

It comes as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern faces increasing pressure to fix our cost of living crisis. 

It is a tough time to fill the tank. Kiwis Newshub spoke to in Wellington reported spending $120 to $200 filling up their cars. Some described it as "painful" while others said it was simply "insane". 

The Government knows it. 

"We are in the midst of a global energy crisis," Ardern declared at her post-Cabinet press conference. 

It's a crisis requiring urgent action. From 11:59pm on Monday night, the Government is cutting fuel tax by 25 cents a litre. 

Petrol companies will be subject to extra scrutiny to make sure they pass the savings on to consumers. 

If you take into account the GST savings too, when you fill up a Suzuki Swift - a 37-litre tank - you'll save about $10.60. If you're filling up a Mitsubishi Outlander - a 63-litre tank - you'll save $18.11. 

"It's an unprecedented move," Ardern said. "A reduction of 25 cents a litre is us making sure that we are responding quickly to the pain at the pump."

Kiwis Newshub spoke to described it as "helpful" and that it would "make a difference". 

Consumers are stoked with anything at this point that will help but the Opposition is underwhelmed. 

"These petrol tax tweaks are going to provide some relief but frankly, they don't address the wider cost of living crisis that Kiwis are experiencing across the country," National leader Christopher Luxon told Newshub. 

ACT leader David Seymour said it doesn't go far enough. 

"Petrol taxes are up 41 cents a litre under Labour - 25 cents is a trim, not a cut," he told Newshub. 

Ardern said it's a solution for the here and now. 

"It's been hard enough to predict the impact of a pandemic let alone the impact of a war on energy prices so this is something we can do quickly, now."

The move is temporary. The removal of the tax will only last three months and it comes at a cost of $350. For April, May and June, public transport fees will also be halved, costing a further $25 million to $40 million. 

The tax the Government is slashing is the one ring-fenced for the Land Transport Fund which pays for our roads and transport projects. The Government will top that fund up instead to make sure no infrastructure projects are impacted. 

"We're particularly pleased that it doesn't affect the National Transport Fund and so those roading projects that would have been planned to go ahead will still go ahead," said AA fuel expert Terry Myer.

After a week of pressure over pump prices and calls to combat the ever-climbing cost of living - or even just call it a crisis - the Prime Minister finally dropped the C-bomb on Monday. 

"This represents a crisis for many families, absolutely," she said. 

When asked what took her so long to admit we're in a cost of living crisis, Ardern told Newshub: "I've always acknowledged that families have been experiencing pain as a result of the change in the cost of living."

Officially, the law takes effect from midnight but Mobil has alrready annouced that it'll drop prices by 25 cents immediately. 

While 25 cents a litre will only take prices from astronomical back down to extraordinary, this is quick action from the Government - quick action they can afford to pay for by raiding the leftover cash that's no longer needed from the MIQ kitty.

Exorbitant petrol prices are not the Government's fault but they are the Government's problem.