As new petrol tax starts today, here's what it'll mean for your wallet

The Government's latest petrol tax increase will see prices at the pump raised by 3.5 cents per litre from today.

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Road user charges for light vehicles are also going up an extra five per cent. Source: Breakfast

The Ministry of Transport outlined how it will impact Kiwis' wallets.

"The cost varies depending on the kilometres travelled, the fuel consumption of the vehicle, if it is petrol and the number of vehicles the households owns.

"For households with one vehicle travelling the average number of kilometres per year (11,500km) the increase on 1 July 2020 will add around $35 to $40 extra per year, which equates to around 67 to 76 cents per week.

"To mitigate the impact on households the increases were kept as low as possible and were phased in over three years," the ministry states.

The cost of a road user charges distance licence for a light vehicle (eg a car, van, ute) will be $76 (up from $72) per 1000 km, including GST, according to the ministry.

With money tight due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there had been calls from the Opposition to put off this year's proposed petrol tax increase.

However, the Ministry of Transport defended its decision: "There are many ways to support households and business impacted by Covid-19.

"The Government has ruled out any further increases in petrol excise duty and road user charges for the next three years.

"Deferring or cancelling the increase planned for 1 July 2020 would reduce the amount of money able to be invested in our land transport network.

"Investing in our transport network will help stimulate the economy and create jobs, which will support New Zealand's recovery from Covid-19."

Kiwi parents of newborn babies will also be getting an extra month of paid parental leave from today as the paid parental leave scheme in New Zealand extends from 22 weeks to 26 weeks. 

It last extended in 2018, from 18 to 22 weeks.

The latest extension still doesn't go as far as some European countries.

The United Kingdom offers 52 weeks, and Sweden offers 16 months. Australia, however, currently has 18 weeks leave.

"Twenty-six weeks paid parental leave is a win for working women," says Melissa Ansell-Bridges, secretary of CTU.

Other policies also coming into affect today are:

  • Free apprenticeships in "critical industries"
  • Pay rise for early childhood educators
  • Lifting of the refugee quota
  • Cheaper building levy
  • Farm debt mediation