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Contractors welcome boost in road funding

20 May 2005

Contractors welcome boost in road funding

The New Zealand Contractors’ Federation has welcomed the Government’s tangible commitment to infrastructure development following yesterday’s Budget.

NZCF Chief Executive Richard Michael said the announcement by Dr Michael Cullen of an extra $100 million a year for three years for roading expenditure was “a positive step – and one we applaud”.

The extra funding will be available from 2006-2007.

“Infrastructure spending is one of the building blocks of our economy,” Mr Michael said. “Reports say that congestion in Auckland costs New Zealand $1 billion a year. We will not be able to take full advantage of the good economic times we are currently experiencing unless our infrastructure is upgraded and continually maintained.”

Mr Michael also welcomed other business-focussed initiatives such as FTB and income tax adjustments and tax breaks for migrant recruitment.

“Our industry has to actively recruit internationally so this will also be a benefit,” he said.

He also welcomed the changes to the way companies can depreciate assets “as long as diggers and earthmovers are included alongside computers and office equipment”.

However, Mr Michael sounded a note of caution that Government expenditure on infrastructure – and roading in particular – was trending downwards, with this year’s capital roading construction spend of $447 million due to fall to $368 million next year.

“As a percentage of GDP, spending on roads is actually dropping,” he said.

ENDS

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