Sunrise star Nat Barr has exposed the major problem with scrapping the current fuel excise, amid a proposal from Infrastructure Partnerships Australia to replace it with a “road user tax”.
Barr gave her take on the Sunrise hot topics segment on Thursday, alongside TV presenter and Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas, and founder of Western Sydney Women Amanda Rose.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Nat Barr debates proposal for new ‘road user tax’.
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Nat saw the logic of replacing the fuel excise with a national “road user tax”, but agreed it might negatively impact desperately-needed tradies if it applied to frequent road users.
“There’s a massive shortage of tradies,” Nat said, discussing how often tradies use the road as opposed to people with office jobs.
Sunrise’s Nat Barr exposed a major flaw in the idea of scrapping the fuel excise on Thursday as she discussed the issue with Basil Zempilas and Amanda Rose. Credit: Seven
“We can’t build our houses (without them). They are so valuable at the moment,” Nat added.
The Infrastructure Partnerships Australia report called the current fuel excise “unsustainable”, amid the increasing popularity of electric vehicles with consumers.
Nat’s comments followed those from guest Amanda Rose, who argued against a possible “road user tax”, and the probable disadvantage faced by tradespeople.
“The thing is when they say road user, they could be adding more taxes and costs — trucks use it more, so they could get charged more,” Rose explained.
“That’s also a concern for me when it comes to tradies, because they are using the roads so much, they get hit with tolls, they get hit with everything,” she added.
As the discussion continued, Nat questioned if it was actually a “new tax” given road users with an electric car do not pay the fuel excise.
Nat agreed it would depend on how a possible new ‘road user tax’ was structured, so it didn’t disproportionately affect tradies. Credit: Seven
“Is it a new tax?” Nat queried. “If you have got an electric vehicle you are not paying the fuel tax anymore. You actually are not paying the tax.”
Zempilas admitted with electric vehicles becoming more efficient the report was right to claim the excise was “unsustainable”, but stopped short of agreeing with the proposal.
“It’s an uncertain future for how much fuel excise (taxes) is going continue to flow,” he said.
Basil mentioned the current cost of living crisis affecting consumers.
“I think we all agree we don’t want new taxes, we just want the government to find ways to do things and not come up with a new tax that hits us where we don’t want to be hit.”