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Car Security Cost-Benefit Questioned

13 January 2005

Car Security Cost-Benefit Questioned

If the Government’s vehicle crime reduction programme were a roading project it would never have seen the light of day, said Vice President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) Charlie Pedersen.

Mr Pedersen was responding to the Government’s new vehicle crime reduction programme announced yesterday. The programme is estimated to cost around $60 million a year to address a problem that costs $110 million a year.

Even assuming a 100 percent success rate, eliminating all car theft, the programme would only deliver benefits of less than twice the cost. This contrasts dramatically with the Government’s requirement for roading projects where benefits must be at least four times the cost before funding is approved.

“If the Government took the same approach to roading as it takes for the vehicle crime reduction programme, then many more roading projects could proceed. I suggest a greater priority is alleviating congestion and improving road safety in rural and urban areas,” said Mr Pedersen.

“The Government should not be imposing significant costs on taxpayers for marginal benefit. Theft is a serious problem that needs to be addressed but car security systems should be a matter of personal choice. What will be next – compulsory home burglar alarms so that the Government can walk away from its duty to fund an adequate police force?, “ asked Mr Pedersen.

ENDS

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