Australians think all fuel excise should go back into roads – survey

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Two-thirds of Australians surveyed want every cent of fuel excise collected by the government to be spent on road and transport infrastructure specifically.

This is according to a 1910-person survey conducted by Insightfully, and published by the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) – peak body for the nation’s State-based car clubs such as the NRMA, RACV and RACQ.

The survey found 67 per cent of people wanted 100 per cent of the flat fuel tax to go into transport needs, rather than into general revenue (which includes transport, but isn’t limited to it).

According to AAA research looking at the past decade, only 54 per cent of the excise has been re-invested in land transport projects.

The fuel excise is a political issue at the minute. The Morrison federal government cut the fuel tax in half for a six-month period in March this year, but the pre-election move will not be extended by the new Albanese government.

As such, the excise will spike from 23 cents to 46 cents per litre from September 29, which will impact petrol prices once fuel stocks subject to the old levy are depleted.

MORE: Excise cut can’t stop household fuel costs skyrocketing

The six-month tax cut did reduce bowser prices at a time of record highs, but also took an estimated $3 billion out of government coffers.

The same AAA survey found 56 per cent of Australians would support the excise being restored to its original figure despite the downsides for consumers – but only if every cent went to transport infrastructure.

If the existing allocation model remained in place, the same survey found 60 per cent of people wanted the excise cut to be extended.

AAA Managing Director Michael Bradley said high fuel costs “continue to be a major concern for Australian motorists, who clearly expect the taxes they pay at the bowser to be spent on making their transport network safer and more effective”.

“It is clear that a strong majority of motorists oppose a 25 cent per litre increase in fuel excise, but motorists are more accepting of this tax if they see it being spent on the roads and transport infrastructure their communities need.

“The AAA again calls for the October Budget to allocate 100 per cent of fuel excise revenue raised to Commonwealth funding of land transport infrastructure.”

MORE: Government cuts fuel excise in half for six months
MORE: No extension to fuel excise cut, says new deputy PM
MORE: Fuel excise cut is lowering petrol prices already, says ACCC

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