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

Gordon Campbell: On Populism And Labour 2017

For many people on the centre-left, populism is a dirty word, and a shorthand for the politics of bigotry. In this country, it has tended to be equated with the angry legions of New Zealand First. Who knew they were not just a reactionary spasm, but the wave of the future?

Certainly, at the end of this week, the next US President will have won office (at least in part) thanks to his proven ability at (a) scapegoating refugees and migrants (b) wooing neo-Nazis and racial supremacists (c) attacking journalists and judges (d) threatening to jail his opponents (e) urging nuclear proliferation and (e) by promising to restrict women’s rights to control their own fertility.

On the face of that campaign record, there wouldn’t seem to be much in common between Donald Trump and say, Spain’s centre-left populist party, Podemos. Yet arguably, the similarities could be instructive for the Labour/Green partnership here. More>>

 
 

Oxfam: 30% Of NZ Owns Less Wealth Than Our Two Richest Men

The research also reveals that the richest one per cent have 20 per cent of the wealth in New Zealand, while 90 per cent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth. The research forms part of a global report released to coincide with this week’s annual meeting of political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More>>

ALSO:

Hospitals: Resident Doctors Set To Strike Again

Despite discussions between the DHBs and NZRDA over safer hours for resident doctors progressing during the last week, the strike planned for next week appears set to proceed. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Super Fund: More Burning Ethical Questions For Steven Joyce

Greens: Radio New Zealand reported this morning that the New Zealand Superfund has $77 million invested in 47 coal companies that the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund – the largest sovereign fund in the world – has blacklisted. More>>

Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Why Tax Cuts In 2017 Would Be A (Proven) Bad Idea

Ever since the world fell prey to the mullahs of the free market in the 1980s, no amount of real world evidence has managed dispel one key tenet of their economic faith. Namely, the idea that if you cut income taxes and taxes on small business, a wave of individual enterprise and entrepreneurial energy will thus be unleashed, profits will rise and – hey bingo! – the tax cuts will soon be paying for themselves ... More>>

Liquor Sponsorship: Researchers Call For Ban On Alcohol Sponsorship Of Sport

“Due to alcohol sponsorship of sport, New Zealanders, including children, were exposed to up to 200 ads per hour they watched televised sport, and people watching football and tennis saw alcohol ads for almost half of each game,” says Associate Professor Signal. More>>

ALSO:

Mt Albert: Ardern For Labour, Genter For Greens

At the close of nominations, Jacinda Ardern was the sole nomination received for the position of Labour’s candidate for the Mt Albert by-election, says Labour General Secretary, Andrew Kirton. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news