"Revising the generous fuel tax credits given to businesses should be a
priority for the Albanese government, because keeping them would conflict with
two other pressing priorities: reducing carbon emissions and repairing the
Fuel tax exemptions have existed for as long as the federal government has
taxed fuel, starting in 1957. With the rationale for the tax being to pay for
building and maintaining roads, initially all off-road users were exempt.
But the earmarking of all fuel tax revenue for spending on roads ended in 1959
– more than 60 years ago. With the tax becoming a general revenue-raiser, the
rationale for exemptions or tax credits has shifted with the disposition of the
government of the day.
The settings inherited by the Albanese government now cost the budget almost $8
billion a year.
As long ago as 1991, the Australian National Audit Office recommended the
credit scheme “clarify its purpose and objectives”. Yet those objectives remain
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics