Sunday, May 11, 2008

Car tax hike will 'put lives at risk'

The Automobile Association says car makers are likely to scrap some life-saving features in their vehicles to try to avoid the new tax on luxury cars.

The Federal Government will increase the tax on cars worth $57,000 and above in tomorrow night's Budget.

The Automobile Association's director of research and policy John Metcalfe disagrees with the move.

He says it will see manufacturers take out some of the safest aspects of their cars to keep the price below the tax threshold.

"Electronic stability control in particular, which we know reduces single vehicle crashes by about 50 per cent, curtain air bags which reduce life threatening injury are also a feature of the upper models," he said.

"So what's going to happen is to keep your vehicle under the threshold you're going to avoid putting in these life-saving technologies."

Budget inked

Meanwhile Treasurer Wayne Swan has reiterated his statements that tomorrow night's Budget will contain some tough measures to make sure Australia's economy remains prosperous.

All of the thousands of pages of Budget figures have now been finalsied and they have gone to print.

"Spending has been out of control in recent times, it falls to this Government to rein in irresponsible spending," he said.

Speaking on MacQuarie Radio the Opposition's treasury spokesman Malcolm Turnbull questioned Labor's promise to cut public spending with one hand and give tax cuts with the other.

"This is my concern, with the Treasurer I really wonder whether he knows what he is doing," he said.

The Greens have urged the Government to make sure high income earners bear the brunt of any cuts to public spending.


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