THE Chief Executive of the Australian Trucking Association Stuart St Clair has asked the Senate to pass proposed amendments to the Fuel Tax Act in an attempt to protect small trucking businesses from the side effects of fuel tax indexation.
Mr St Clair was releasing the ATA's submission to the Senate Economics Committee inquiry into the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2014 Measures No 6) Bill 2014.
"The Government has used what are called tariff proposals to increase the fuel tax rate from 38.143 cents per litre to 38.6 cents per litre. The rate will be indexed in line with inflation on 1 February and 1 August," Mr St Clair said.
The CEO advised that while the tariff proposals may be ratified by legislation within a year, side effects will impact trucking operators and other businesses hoping to claim fuel tax credits.
Because of the way the Fuel Tax Act is currently worded, tariff proposals do not increase the industry's entitlement to fuel tax credits, even though they effectively increase the fuel tax rate.
"If the Senate does not pass the bill, a representative single truck owner driver would have to pay an extra $750 in fuel tax by October 2015. A small fleet operator would have to pay an extra $4,100, with a large operator with 160 trucks paying an additional $41,900," Mr St Clair said.
"Small trucking businesses can't afford the cashflow burden of paying extra fuel tax on top of what they already pay."
The ATA suggests small businesses will be heavily disadvantaged as they would front the price until the legislation needed to ratify the tariff proposals was passed.
"The bill does not approve or ratify fuel tax indexation. Instead, the bill fixes the side effects of the Government's decision. I urge the Senate to support it," he said.
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