ATA argues for inflation rate hike measure

Peak body argues that road user charge should be set at rate of inflation until calculations are settled

March 25, 2013

Forecast inflation should inform any increase presently
in the fuel tax rate and truck registration charges, the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has advised the National Transport Commission (NTC).

The commission has proposed a 2.5 percent hike from July 1 for the road user charge (RUC) but the association says there are questions over the figures used and 2.25 percent is the preferred amount.

"There are considerable doubts in the functionality of the current annual adjustment process that mean its application to the RUC and registration should not happen in 2013-14," the submission said.

"It must be remembered that 2012-13 charges increased the RUC by 10 percent and increased registration charges by 6-32 percent.

"The heavy vehicle industry operates on very small profit margins and adding unfair charges will burden industry further."

Under the association’s proposal, the RUC would rise 0.57 cents per litre from 25.5 cents per litre to 26.07 cents per litre.

The fuel tax credits that could be claimed by trucking operators would fall from 12.643 cents per litre to 12.073 cents per litre.

The NTC proposal would see the road user charge increase to 26.14 cents per litre.

The fuel tax credit rate for trucking operators would fall to 12.003 cents per litre.

The association makes four other recommendations:

  • NTC and ATA establish and agree on the inputs and methodology for calculating the road user factor (RUF)
  • RUF factor should be updated annually
  • road expenditure factor (REF) ‘A’ weighting should be updated regularly
  • given the NTC review has presented fundamental weaknesses in the annual adjustment methodology, its use should be suspended.

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