Government Should Turn Around on Kiwirail
23 MAY 2014
The Taxpayers’ Union has responded to the Government’s budget announcement of a further $198 million of funding for KiwiRail’s Turnaround Plan with loathing.
“When will the Government stop throwing good money after bad when it comes to KiwiRail?” asks Executive Director Jordan Williams.
“The cost of rail to the taxpayer since being renationalised in 2008 is a whopping $12.2 billion dollars and it’s likely to need more. $12.2 billion is equivalent to over $2,700 per taxpayer - nearly enough buy every Kiwi a return flight to London. Per household, the amount is $6,900 - enough to buy a good, reliable second hand car.”
The $12.2 billion refers to the total Crown investment of $2.4 billion since 2008 and write downs totalling $9.8 billion.
“Taxpayers should not be burdened with bringing dead rats to life. Not only has KiwiRail been so heavily devalued, it is being propped up with massive taxpayer funding in a futile attempt to make it economically sustainable” says Williams. “The Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee has acknowledged that financial self-sustainability was always going to be a huge challenge and questions have to be asked whether such a challenge is still worth pursuing.”
“It is incredible that for all this money, we still have locomotives with asbestos and ferries that are lemons. Taxpayers deserve better.”