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Smoke And Mirrors In Transport Funding

Hon Maurice Williamson MP
National Party Transport Spokesperson

02 July 2004

Smoke and mirrors in transport funding

"The public of New Zealand should not be deceived by Labour's claim that it is responsible for the 'biggest state transport spending programme ever'," says National Party Transport spokesman Maurice Williamson.

Pete Hodgson made the comments while taking credit for Transfund's announcement of its $18.7 billion, ten year forecast for integrated transport.

"The Minister was positively gushing when he suggested 'not only is it the largest sum ever invested in New Zealand's transport infrastructure, it includes the largest ever spending on public transport, cycling and walking facilities, state highways, local roads and maintenance'.

"But while that is what Mr Hodgson wants the public to think, unfortunately it's not entirely accurate.

"According to figures supplied by the Parliamentary Library, the average annual increase on roading over the past ten years has been 6.9%. If you remove the two disastrous years under Labour (where there was only growth of 1.1%) the average climbs to 8.6% annual growth in road spending.

"If you applied that average growth rate (removing those two disastrous years under Labour) the increase in road spending should be something like $19 billion - just using the historic norms.

"In real terms, that means Labour is failing to keep pace with historic spending patterns - despite the fanfare," says Mr Williamson.


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