Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Govt plans borrowing and tax hikes to fund unneeded highways

16 November 2012

Govt plans borrowing and tax hikes to fund unneeded highways

The National Government’s reckless plan to build unneeded highways has created a huge budget hole that taxpayers will be forced to pay for with higher taxes, Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said today.

The Green Party has obtained an internal New Zealand Transport Agency document which states there is a $1.7 billion shortfall between the cost of the Government’s transport plans and the projected revenue as a result of the huge cost of National’s pet highway projects and stagnant traffic volumes resulting in lower than projected fuel tax revenue.

The briefing outlines three options to close the gap: delaying the so-called ‘Roads of National Significance’ by up to five years (which is marked as “not acceptable”); borrowing the money and using Public-Private Partnerships as a form of borrowing, which would only shift the cost to the taxpayer into the future and constrain future transport budgets; or increasing petrol tax by nine cents a litre.

“Kiwis will be paying more to fund National’s unneeded and uneconomic highways, and they will have few options to avoid rising fuel prices.

“The mammoth $1.7 billion funding gap in the transport budget has been created by uneconomic projects like the Kapiti Expressway that will cost over half a billion dollars for $120m worth of value. Lower than expected traffic volumes just further prove these expensive highways should not be the priority.

“National has created a fiscal timebomb and its plan is to either foist the cost on to future taxpayers by borrowing the money or increase petrol tax by nine cents a litre.

“We have an opportunity right now to invest in better buses and trains, and safer walking and cycling – this frees up the roads for those who are driving and gives Kiwis more options to avoid rising fuel prices. But the Government is planning to spend 85% of the money available for new capital projects over the next decade on a few state highways, and less than 5% on smart, green alternatives.

“The best option is to defer indefinitely the Holiday Highway and the other low value highway projects and, instead, direct the transport budget to passenger transport, walking, and cycling as suggested by the latest Pure Advantage report.

“This would reduce our $8 billion a year bill for imported oil, lower our greenhouse gas emissions, and create more jobs,” said Ms Genter.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Gordon Campbell: On The 1990s Retro Proposals For Our Health System

As we learned yesterday, the reviews propose that the democratically elected representation on DHBs should be reduced, such that community wishes will be able to be over-ridden by political appointees. In today’s revelations, the reviews also propose a return to the destructive competitive health model of the 1990s. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Cab Press Conference: Foreign Buyers Register, TPP And Serco

At a press conference today in Wellington, John Key discussed the foreign buyers register as well as the TPP and Serco. Key was questioned on whether a stamp tax might be used as a tool to deal with foreign buyers. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood Satire: Serco To Outsource Prison To Public Sector

In response to high-profile failings, multinational omnicorporation Serco will introduce public management in its prison system. Serco's New Zealand manager, speaking on condition of anonymity, has announced plans for managers from the Department of Corrections to run the Mt Eden Correctional Facility. More>>

National Party Conference: Plans To Nudge Immigrants Towards Regions

The Government will introduce a package of immigration measures aimed at improving the spread of workers, skills and investment across New Zealand, Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse says. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections: Serco Relieved Of Control At Mt Eden Prison, Retains Contract

Multi-national private prison operator Serco has been forced to hand back control of Auckland's Mt Eden remand prison to the Department of Corrections, which has used a 'step-in' clause in its contract with Serco following a string of increasingly serious allegations about contraband, prisoner injuries and a death. More>>

ALSO:

Other Experiments: Failing Charter School Stays Open 'For Kids'

Education Minister Hekia Parata says she has given Te Pumanawa o te Wairua in Northland a chance to continue operating because of her concerns about finding other educational opportunities for its students. More>>

ALSO:

Prisoner Voting Ban: Court Finds Law Inconsistent With Bill Of Rights

Greens: National needs to immediately bring legislation to the House which lifts the ban on the right of prisoners to vote, said the Green Party. The High Court today ruled that the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Act 2010, which stops prisoners from voting, is inconsistent with the Bill of Rights Act. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news