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Govt. Slowly Waking Up To Transport Woes

Media Release
23 June 2005

Govt. Slowly Waking Up To Transport Woes

New Zealand First transport spokesperson Peter Brown says he is pleased that the government is finally committing extra funding to roading, but that the investment needs to be on-going.

Mr Brown’s comments follow the announcement that the government has committed a one-off $500 million payment for roading and transport.

“For a long time now the government has gone through a convoluted pretence each budget cycle of allowing funds that we know should be going into roads to go elsewhere.

“While regions around the country are crying out for better roads, only half of the money collected in petrol tax has been directed towards transport infrastructure,” said Mr Brown.

“The government’s latest additional investment has been a long time coming. Since Labour came to power, motorists have faced four unnecessary increases in petrol levies, despite the government’s windfall tax take.

“It seems the government is finally coming round to the idea – albeit slowly – that petrol tax should be spent on essential roads, transport infrastructure and road safety activities, rather than in unrelated areas.

"But if we want long-term improvement, the government must commit to reducing the proportion of road taxes going into the Crown account, a process which New Zealand First began in 1998.

“We need a long-term strategy to ensure that all the monies taken from the petrol motorist go directly into upgrading and building more roads,” concluded Mr Brown.


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