Revealed: The polling that explains the Govt’s fuel tax cut
A Curia poll commissioned by the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union found that 78% of New Zealanders supported a reduction in petrol tax in the days leading up to (and the day after) the Government’s reduction in petrol excise.
Eighty percent of Labour voters supported tax relief, and 88% of respondents in the most deprived areas. Click here to view the data.
The polling took place from 2–7 March and 14–15 March, with a gap in polling due to COVID-19. The Government’s announcement to cut fuel excise was made on 14 March.
The Government’s decision to cut petrol taxes was a victory for people power. Regardless of our Government’s ideological tendencies, it can be made to listen when public opinion is against it.
Earlier in the month, the Finance Minister was blaming fuel costs on international conditions and warning that fuel tax relief would impact road funding. But then the Government correctly calculated the public mood, changed tack, and rustled up money from the COVID slush fund to cover the revenue loss.
The problem the Government faced was that New Zealanders had already made the mental link between high fuel costs and high government taxes. This didn’t happen out of the blue: the Taxpayers’ Union worked hard to ensure that New Zealanders knew around half of their petrol bill was made up of taxes and levies.
Our petition to cut fuel tax was promoted to hundreds of thousands of Kiwis on social media and gained 16,000 signatures. Our fuel tax refund event in Takapuna exposed high taxes with media coverage from Newshub, 1 News, and Radio NZ. And Taxpayers' Union supporters plastered stickers on fuel pumps – a habit that the Taxpayers’ Union does not endorse but does find funny.
We look forward to a similar Government turnaround on Three Waters as we raise awareness of the scheme’s bureaucratic, unaccountable governance model.