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Govt Are About To Rip-off The Public On Transport

NEWS RELEASE AUCKLAND CITY RESIDENTS AND RATEPAYERS
Elaine West

“Helen Clark and Michael Cullen are about to rip-off the public with a plan that will drain yet more indirect taxes from ordinary New Zealanders” said Elaine West of Auckland City Residents and Ratepayers, on the eve of the PM announcing plans to toll roads and charge congestion fees to remedy Auckland’s transport infrastructure.

Ms West said “Today, like so many days - Spaghetti Junction is a mess – cars and trucks are close to a standstill on our country’s major north-south highway. A police car had trouble negotiating a path between stationary vehicles with an ambulance having the same trouble a couple of minutes later. Angry motorists are furious as they wile away time and miss appointments. And all this is due to years of political manipulation to raise indirect taxes and GDP levels.”

She said “It is a public crime to see what politicians have done to the people of this land. If I could, I would prosecute those responsible and ‘shoot them at dawn’ (well...throw them out of office instantly)”.

Elaine West believes Auckland is exactly the way local and central government politicians want it – where the greater population can act as revenue earners without being aware of just how much they were contributing to Govt’s coffers.

“At a recent public forum I disputed the outcome of the Automobile Assoc. survey results showing that 89% of more than 700 Aucklanders agreed to have tolls on roads to get transport infrastructure fixed. I bet these same people would chose not to toll roads if they knew the facts” she said.

Ms West was referring to NZ finances and transport expenditure, released on 29 October under the Official Information Act. Over the last six years, road user charges raised $9.3b with about $5b in petrol taxes. About half of the petrol taxes disappeared into the Crown Account. The paltry trend figure of 3.5% of total revenue went into the National Roads Fund...3.5% for six long years.”

“And the poor suffering local ratepayer, who is also a national taxpayer, and a commuter paying existing road user taxes, will prop up this year’s land transport fund with $485m. Meanwhile about $573m in petrol taxes will go into the Crown Account” she said.

“This Govt managed to raise an extra $18.2b in revenue compared to the previous Govt’s term.... and yet Clark and Cullen have the gall to say there’s not enough money in the Treasury kitty to remedy Auckland’s transport infrastructure - rubbish... and when will it be dawn?” said Ms West.

“New Zealanders are about to get their rotten egg Christmas present – tax increases in the form of tolls on local and national roads, and congestion charges, and no doubt dramatic council rate rises next year. But from the Govt’s and Council’s point of view – what a Christmas windfall. Killing off public transport in the past obviously pays tax dividends in the future. New Zealanders don’t need tolled roads or congestion fees or otherwise. I would willingly debate funding Auckland’s transport infrastructure without toll charges and congestion fees with Ms Clark or Mr Cullen – any time, any place....just give me a call.... even if it happens to be dawn.”

ENDS


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