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Robbing Paul to pay Trevor, Annette and Steve

Baldock: Robbing Paul to pay Trevor, Annette and Steve

New Zealand motorists are being taken for a bigger ride by the Labour Government than they were by the National administrations of the 1990s, United Future transport spokesman Larry Baldock said today.

"This Government is increasingly raiding petrol excise taxes and road user charges for purposes other than improving this country's failing roading networks," he said.

"Governments began raiding these funds in the 1970s, when they started spending less on roads than they were collecting, and this increased during the Labour years of the 1980s, peaking in 1990 when this income was 283 percent of what was actually put back into roading.

"During the National years of the 1990s it gradually fell to 165 percent of the money being reinvested in roading - better but not great.

"And under this Government we're climbing again - 174 percent last year and its now predicted to rise to 182 percent," he said.

Speaking in the Budget debate in Parliament last night, Mr Baldock said that much of the new spending announced in the Budget last week was only possible because the National Land Transport Fund would be raided to the tune of $452 million.

"This has got to stop. And yes, the Government has come to rely on this money. It's happened over about 30 years and I acknowledge that it cannot just stop overnight.

"But there have got to be serious steps taken to reverse this situation over the next 10 years or so, so that motorists get safe, adequate roads to drive on.

"United Future is committed to help provide alternative funding through the Land Transport Management Bill, but this will not solve all the problems. There must be an increase in Government spending on roads, including the likes of Wellington's Transmission Gully," he said.

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