Otago Residents Will Pay For Train In Rates
Otago residents will be burdened with higher rates so that local councils can keep the Southerner rail service running, ACT MP Gerry Eckhoff said today.
"The power of general competence will allow Dunedin City Council and Otago Regional Council to increase rates in order to pay for this highly risky venture.
"The Labour Government has indicated a level of financial support for a passenger rail service even if substantial losses occur. Inevitably, when the issue has died down, they will withdraw this support and ratepayers will be left shouldering the entire cost.
"Rates must increase. Existing passenger rates will have to double just to allow this service to break even.
"Labour encourages people to use the train service. Yet I wonder when Mr David Benson-Pope last used a train to go to Invercargill or Christchurch.
"The ratepayers of Otago should not have to shoulder the burdens and risks that this endeavour will bring," Gerry Eckhoff said.