Government confirms 25 cents per litre fuel tax to be reintroduced early next year

Petrol is going to get more expensive again this summer after the Government confirmed the fuel excise tax will be reintroduced in January. 

Back in March, the Government revealed it was slashing fuel excise tax by 25 cents per litre and halving the cost of public transport for an initial three-month period to help Kiwis struggling with the increasing cost of living. Then, in July, Finance Minister Grant Robertson extended the scheme until the end of January. 

The tax cut was announced after the Government faced increasing pressure over high inflation and the price of petrol skyrocketing above $3 a litre, largely driven by the war in Ukraine. The tax cut was expected to save Kiwis $11 to $17 per average fill-up, depending on the vehicle.

While Kiwis will get the savings until January, Transport Minister Michael Wood has confirmed the tax would be reintroduced at the start of next year.

Speaking with AM on Friday, Wood said there will still be other support available to Kiwis struggling with the cost of living. 

"Grant Robertson has confirmed this is the approach we will take, that's long been the signal. It has been over $1 billion of support we have provided to help Kiwis with this particular challenge," Wood said. 

"We've always said we wouldn't be able to extend it forever and a day so that will come to a conclusion in January but there are other supports that will continue for New Zealanders facing these pressures."  

A litre of 91 petrol in New Zealand currently costs on average around $2.50 a litre but for many in major cities like Auckland it's sitting around $2.70, meaning when the tax is reintroduced many Kiwis can expect to pay just under $3 a litre for fuel. 

It comes after the Australian government revealed it was reintroducing its fuel excise this week - which was slashed by 23 cents per litre earlier in the year. The change is expected to cost families an extra $A35 each week. 

But it's not just petrol prices that have jumped in New Zealand this year. The latest Consumer Price Index data has inflation at a whopping 7.3 percent. As a result, the price of just about everything has skyrocketed in New Zealand.

The Reserve Bank has hiked the Official Cash Rate (OCR) from 0.25 percent in March 2020 to 3 percent in August 2022 to try and bring it under control.

Food is also getting more expensive, with the latest data from Statistics New Zealand showing prices were 8.3 percent higher in August 2022 compared with August 2021. 

That was the largest annual increase since July 2009, when annual food prices increased 8.4 percent.

Along with the fuel cuts, the Government also increased the benefit, minimum wage and Family Tax Credits in April and the Winter Energy Payment in May.