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More trouble with Labour’s transport policy

Hon Gerry Brownlee
Minister of Transport

15 April 2014 Media Statement

More trouble with Labour’s transport policy

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says Ministry of Transport analysis of Labour’s new policy for taxing motorhomes shows many motorhome owners would actually be charged higher Road User Charges under a Labour government than they are presently, not lower, as Labour’s leader claimed this morning.

“This is frankly remarkable – I’m not sure if David Cunliffe is being tricky or if Labour is simply a shambles,” Mr Brownlee says.

“This morning David Cunliffe announced a Labour government would charge motorhome and campervan owners for the wear and tear their vehicles do to the roads based on their vehicles’ actual weights.

“But analysis by the Ministry of Transport shows that based on the difference between average and maximum weights for trucks versus motorhomes, the owners of many motorhomes would end up paying more for Road User Charges than they do today.

“Road User Charges already assume that a vehicle travels empty about half of the time, as trucks frequently do travelling from a depot to pick up a load, or returning to the depot.

“Motorhomes, however, generally carry their furniture, fittings and other material at all times, which means they weigh more than an equivalent unladen truck.

“The 4.6 tonne average motorhome is in a weight band required to pay Road User Charges of about $57 per 1000 kilometres. If paying by actual weight, Road User Charges would typically be between $50 and $70 per 1000 kilometres, depending on the exact weight of the vehicle and its fit out.

“So this policy would see many motorhome owners penalised rather than compensated, in some cases by as much as 22 per cent.

“Weight bands are carefully calculated to recover the cost of wear on the roads by motorhomes, while also making Road User Charges simpler and fairer, reducing evasion opportunities, and making it easier to comply with and enforce.

“David Cunliffe has essentially announced that a Labour Government intends to subsidise the wear and tear that motorhomes and campervans do to roads, by passing the costs onto other road users.”

ENDS

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