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Borrow Money For Roads Now Says Brown

27 August 2004

Borrow Money For Roads Now Says Brown

New Zealand First transport spokesperson Peter Brown is urging the Government to respond to recommendations that it should borrow up to $2.4 billion for roading projects in Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington and 402 main road passing bays by 2012.

The recommendation has been made in a report commissioned by the Automobile Association, business and road transport groups and written by Allen Consulting Group.

“It is obvious that investment levels in our road network have not kept pace with the significant increases in road utilisation in areas such as Auckland, Wellington and Tauranga,” Mr Brown said.

“For some time we have been calling for the Government to borrow money for roading, instead of raising fuel taxes and introducing road tolls to fund infrastructure.

“The report spells out clearly that too little has been spent on roading in the last decade, and that road tolling is not necessary.

“Our roads need an immediate investment of capital – the economic gain for which will be significant. There is no other investment for Government funding that will bring in greater returns.

“Completing the set of proposed land transport packages will result in substantial economy wide gains to New Zealand, including an increase in GDP, investment and in net exports.

“If the Government applies the requisite proportion of road taxes to pay off this loan, instead of siphoning road taxes off to the consolidated fund, then this vital infrastructure investment can proceed now.

“People pay road taxes expecting those taxes to be spent on roads, and we must not go on as a nation cheating New Zealand’s road users and motorists,” Mr Brown concluded.

ENDS

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