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No need to tax Kiwis for billion dollar boondoggles

18 December 2012

No need to tax Kiwis for billion dollar boondoggles

National’s plan to increase the petrol excise duty by 18% to pay for its so-called ‘Roads of National Significance’ is a waste of taxpayer money that will unfairly make working families pay for motorways that few will use, Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said today.

In November, the Greens first revealed a leaked New Transport Agency document outlining National’s plans to fill the billion dollar hole in the transport budget created by its motorway projects by borrowing in the form of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and increasing petrol tax by 9 cents a litre, or 18%. Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee today confirmed the increase in petrol tax, having recently confirmed plans for a Transmission Gully PPP.

Analysis of National’s motorway projects shows just 4% of road journeys will use these routes.

“All Kiwis who drive will soon be paying for National’s white elephant motorways that few people will use,” said Ms Genter.

“Transmission Gully, the Kapiti Expressway, and the Puhoi to Wellsford Holiday Highway will cost billions of dollars for little benefit and will be used by only a few percent of drivers.

“The Government shouldn’t increase tax on all New Zealand families just so that it can pour billions into boondoggles that aren’t worth building.

“National is taxing us more on petrol to lock us into a petrol-dependent lifestyle. Instead, we should be investing the transport budget into projects that will allow Kiwis to avoid rising petrol prices by taking public transport, cycling, or walking.

“Projects like the Auckland’s City Rail Link are sustainable, cost-effective, and reduce congestion. That’s a smart, green use of taxpayer money; that’s where the Greens would invest,” said Ms Genter.

Additional information:
NZTA briefing paper

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