New Zealand is halving fares on public transport to ease the pain of a sharp rise in petrol prices as fuel oil prices rise after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that the country will cut tariffs by 50% amid a number of other changes to try to alleviate the sharp rise in the cost of living. The government is also cutting excise taxes on petrol and tolls from road users by 25 cents a liter – changes that will take place at midnight on Monday.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the changes would last for the first three months and would then be reviewed.
“The global energy crisis has quickly escalated,” Ardern said. “We can’t control the war Ukraine nor the prolonged volatility of fuel prices, but we can take steps to reduce the impact on New Zealand’s family. ”
Gasoline prices in New Zealand exceed 3 New Zealand dollars ($ 2) per liter and have risen sharply in recent weeks. Unleaded petrol has risen by 15% since the beginning of the year and is expected to continue to rise.
“In the long run, we need to increase the resilience of our transportation system so that we are less vulnerable to jumping petrol prices,” Ardern said. “But now halving the cost of public transport will give some families an alternative to refueling the tank.”
Even with the changes, the government expected gasoline prices to continue their growth trajectory, Robertson said.
“We have to admit that gasoline prices are expected to rise,” he said. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to undermine and destabilize global energy markets, and, in addition to other inflationary pressures in the world due to disruptions in Covid’s supply chain, this is unfortunately not over.”
The Ardennes government is under increasing pressure to tackle the rising cost of living in New Zealand, where households have faced significant increases in the cost of living and essentials in supermarkets.
Inflation in Aatearoa has reached a thirties, and shows no signs of slowing down. Inflation reached 5.9% at the end of 2021, and ANZ, the country’s largest bank, is counting on it continue to rise in 2022. In February, the price of fruits and vegetables increased by 17% compared to the same period last year.
The New Zealand opposition said the country was in a “crisis of cost of living.” In recent polls, Arder’s Labor Party has lagged behind the center-right National opposition, for the first time since the pandemic.