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Brash digs $4 billion spending hole

Brash digs $4 billion spending hole

Don Brash today blew a $4 billion hole in the tax-payer funded Crown Account.

Yesterday the Ministry of Transport published a report saying the Crown Account pays out around twice as much on road related costs than goes into the Crown Account from fuel duty. Brash's plan is to cut back the amount of fuel duty used to offset these costs, leaving the taxpayer to fill the $4 billion black hole he'll create.

"Brash has not created a single dollar of new money to cover roading costs. All he's doing is shifting what's already collected between accounts. In doing so he's creating a black hole for the taxpayer to fill in the Crown Account,” says Transport Minister, Pete Hodgson.

"How will he make up the shortfall? Will he cut expenditure on health and education? Or will he borrow like some born-again Muldoon and cause interest rates to increase?

"This year, the government is on track to spend $1.4 billion on transport infrastructure, compared to just $939.8 million spent in the last year of National's last term. That's 51 per cent more being spent on transport under Labour.

"This government is honest about the costs of transport and where the money comes from to pay them. We believe in investing in improving our transport system and funding it in a way that does not involve smoke and mirrors."

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