The Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association says it is shocked with the New Brunswick government’s 2015-16 budget which will raise taxes on diesel fuel for truckers.
Effective midnight April 1 2015, the provincial tax on diesel fuel will increase by 2.3 cents per litre, from 19.2 to 21.5 cents per litre.
Executive Director, Jean-Marc Picard pointed out the province already has the second-highest diesel tax rate in the country after BC. “It will have a devastating impact on every consumer as they will pay more for their goods going forward,” he said.
Picard pointed out the government is taking advantage of the drop in global oil prices, quoting Finance Minister Roger Melanson’s statement that the extended period of lower global diesel prices creates an opportunity to raise diesel taxes.
“This actually puts our industry at a competitive disadvantage to carriers from other provinces and will change the landscape of the trucking industry in New Brunswick,” Picard added. “Year after year, the trucking industry is creating jobs in this province but today companies might have to look at slashing jobs as it is becoming very expensive to run a trucking company in this province.”
“The Gallant government is not seeing the big picture of our industry and the long term impact this will have on the economy. No real cost cutting was done in this budget which is very disappointing because that should be the priority for our government.”
Picard is meeting with Melanson at the end of the month to address the matter.