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National wants Kiwis to cut off their noses

Media Release For immediate release 29 January 2003

National wants Kiwis to cut off their nose to spite their face

The call today from National's Roger Sowry for United Future to block the Land Transport Management Bill is the sort of muddled thinking that has seen the Nats become little more than a blip on the political landscape, United Future transport spokesman Larry Baldock said today.

"They propose that we should cut off our nose to spite our face by blocking the Bill," he said.

"The reality of New Zealand's road network today is that we need a massive programme of investment in our infrastructure all over the country because of the situation created by successive governments, including the National government of the 1990s, constantly raiding the Land Transport Fund.

"One of the benefits of investing in our roads would be considerable job creation for many unemployed who want to have more meaningful jobs than picking up litter as proposed by National today.

"United Future understands that the Government cannot immediately spend everything on roads that it currently raids from the fuel tax excise and has become dependent upon," Mr Baldock said..

"There will be no quick fix. But we want to see the Government commit to directing all this revenue into the LTF over a five-year period so the adjustments can be handled incrementally.

"What Roger doesn't appear to grasp is that our need for new roading investment is so great that we need the revenue from private investment and tolling that the Land Transport Bill will make possible, as well as the revenue currently diverted into the Consolidated Fund.

"The suggestion that we should try to block the Bill (parts of which fulfil Government obligations arising from our Confidence and Supply Agreement with them) is short-sighted. "National needs to look at the big picture instead of indulging in petty political attacks whose only purpose is to muddy the picture and mislead the public...

"But the most obvious question of all is why Roger and his National Party didn't put their money where their mouths were when they were in government for nine years," he said.


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