New Zealand is halving public transport prices to cushion the sharp rise in prices for gasoline and diesel. In addition, the government is cutting taxes on fuel and road tolls to protect the population from the consequences of the international crisis.
Around the world oil prices have skyrocketed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the country is cutting public transport ticket prices by 50% to cushion the sharp rise in the cost of living. Additionally, the government is lowering excise taxes on gasoline and road tolls. These measures will apply for the next three months.
“The global energy crisis has quickly become acute. We cannot control the war in Ukraine nor the continued volatility of fuel prices, but we can take steps to reduce the impact on New Zealand families.”, Ardern said.
The New Zealand government is struggling with a general problem of rising living costs and costs for daily necessities in the country. Inflation, for example, has been at an all-time high within the last three decades and shows little sign of abating. The cost of fruits and vegetables, for example, rose 17% over the same 12-month period. The overall inflation reached 5.9% by the end of 2021.
Pandemic-related interruptions to global supply chains are also partly to blame. “The Russian invasion of Ukraine is continuing to undermine and destabilize global energy markets and, disruptions, this is, sadly not over yet.”, warns Treasury Secretary Grant Robertson.