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No money left for cheese if Nats have their way

25 August 2008 Media Statement

No money left for cheese if Nats have their way

Aucklanders won't have any money left over from promised tax cuts to buy cheese or anything else because of the National Party's plan to impose user-pays toll charges on commuters, Progressive Party leader Jim Anderton said today.

"Is it just a coincidence that $50 of toll charges equals $50 in tax cuts?"

Jim Anderton said Maurice Williamson let the cat out of the bag when he revealed that Aucklanders would be paying up to $50 a week to use toll roads to get to the city under National's road-building plans.

"National said it was going to increase debt for infrastructure. Now, it is going to pay for infrastructure with tolls. That proves the debt is being increased to pay for tax cuts.

"The National Party is philosophically opposed to public transport, and deputy leader Bill English has hinted that they would cut regional petrol taxes which local authorities use to fund buses and trains, which would leave Aucklanders with no choice but to drive their cars to work and to pay the higher costs.

"This is once again the National Party looking after its big business cronies who will be operating the toll roads and pocketing the profits, scooped off ordinary New Zealanders."

Jim Anderton said it was telling that transport spokesman Maurice Williamson was suddenly "unavailable" to talk further to journalists about National's transport policy and that Bill English was drafted in to cover for what he called Maurice Williamson's "exurberance".

"If the National Party spokesperson on transport doesn't know what National's transport policy is this close to an election, then what on earth is going on?"


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