HEAVY VEHICLE FUEL EXCISE TO BE FROZEN FOR ANOTHER YEAR
A freeze to the heavy vehicle fuel excise will continue until at least the end of June next year, the Federal Government has announced.
Federal infrastructure minister Warren Truss says the charge will remain at its current level of 26.14 cents per litre next financial year, extending a freeze already in place.
Truss says the decision is good news for the trucking industry, but operators are still due to pay higher vehicle registration fees from next week.
“It will reduce the cost of doing business for operators and support productivity in those sectors of the economy that rely on heavy vehicles to supply business inputs and deliver products to markets,” Truss says.
“The annual saving to industry in 2015-2016 is estimated to be $11 million and follows findings by the National Transport Commission (NTC) that the road user charge has been over-collecting in recent years.”
Truss says the Federal Government reached its decision after extensive consultation with the trucking industry earlier this year.
The NTC recommended in February that the excise should increase to 26.3 cents per litre and for registration fees to rise by 0.6 per cent.
The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) lodged a submission with the NTC in April arguing against the increase in fees, claiming it would lead to the industry being overcharged $117 million in 2015-2016.
ATA CEO Chris Melham has welcomed Truss’s announcement and says it will benefit Australia’s 49,000 trucking operators.
The ATA says the model used to calculate heavy vehicle charges is outdated.
“The NTC’s charging model is supposed to ensure that the fuel tax and heavy vehicle registration charges cover the cost of the truck and bus industries’ use of the road system,” Melham says.
“But the NTC has conceded that its model is flawed, because it underestimates the number of heavy vehicles on the road. It loses about 52,000 vehicles. As a result, the calculated charge on each vehicle is too high, as is the total amount collected.
“The Government’s decision to freeze our fuel tax for the second year running will reduce the level of over-recovery. It is a great result.”
Extracted in full from Owner Driver.