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Nats' RFT bill should go further

The National Party’s bill to scrap Labour’s regional fuel tax is positive but needs to go further, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

"ACT welcomes National’s commitment to lower taxes, but they should also take up a couple of other suggestions.

"Auckland desperately needs road pricing which has helped to reduce congestion in London, Stockholm, and Singapore by 20 per cent.

"Other businesses – airlines and accommodation, for example – adjust their prices in times of shortage to shift demand toward times of surplus. Now that we’ve got the technology, using prices to ensure consistent availability of road space is a no-brainer. With GPS tracking of traffic, we could adjust pricing of specific routes in real time. It could be a game-changer.

"National should also adopt ACT’s policy to use GST revenue from local building projects to fund the infrastructure that goes with it – that’s around $1.5 billion more every year.

"There’s no point in having the highway that ends in a congested suburb. Rather than adding new taxes to hardworking New Zealanders, central government should share the GST from new construction with local government so councils can build infrastructure.

"National’s campaign against fuel taxes is a bit rich given Steven Joyce and Gerry Brownlee raised the level of fuel excise in 2009 and 2012, and Simon Bridges was considering further increases prior to the election.

"It has a chance to significantly improve the funding of infrastructure with this bill."

ends

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