Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Road User Charge Hike A Kick In Guts To Trucking Industry That Kept Country Moving During Lockdown

The Government’s 5.3% increase in road user charges (RUC) from 1 July is a kick in the guts to the trucking industry that kept the country moving during lockdown and must be cancelled says the National Road Carriers Association.

“It is unacceptable,” says National Road Carriers Association (NRC) CEO David Aitken. “Throughout the lockdown the road freight industry kept the country moving delivering essential supplies including medicine and food.”

Mr Aitken said transport operators were seriously aggrieved by the planned RUC increase. “There is a lot of unrest on social media among the road freight community and it is our responsibility to make sure the Government hears the industry’s concerns.

“Freight transport runs on low margins at the best of times and most trucking companies operating during lockdown ran at zero or negative margins, due to limited goods and volumes that could be moved. The industry also put their own health and safety on the line to deliver these goods. Transport operators worked through all pandemic alert levels, often at a cost to them, their families and their companies.”

He said RUC increases will affect the transport sector, with some companies not expected to survive, and consumers, who will pay more for goods and services, as some costs will have to be passed on.

Mr Aitken said the road transport industry was very disappointed by a perceived lack of recognition of the role it played during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“This Government appears to want to punish the trucking industry when freight companies are struggling by increasing the RUC to pay for rail, cycleways and public transport – which are not capable of delivering essential supplies to stores.”

Mr Aitken said the road transport industry had witnessed the Government “rewarding” many other sectors such as arts and music, racing, and tourism with big payouts. “This is fine, but we see an essential service such as road transport instead being punished for its efforts. If it wasn’t for road freight none of these other sectors would be possible, particularly racing and tourism.”

He said transport sees itself as an easy target for Governments to pass taxes onto, like the RUC. He said the industry is seen as a cash cow and it has had enough.

He said the industry was willing to continue paying RUC as it is now, but this needs to go into the currently badly maintained roading networks and build new infrastructure that allows the efficient flow of freight. “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how essential road freight is, as did the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes.”

Mr Aitken said Road Transport Forum CEO Nick Leggett has pointed out that the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF) was below budget, roading repairs have not kept pace with the growth of revenue generated from heavy vehicles, and an economic downturn will affect load sizes rather than distance travelled.

The Road Transport Forum (RTF) is lobbying the Government to cancel the planned RUC increase due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic and the downturn most transport operators will experience due to this.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Energy Sector: Meridian Spilled Water To Hike Electricity Prices - Authority Ruling

The Electricity Authority has found that generator Meridian Energy manipulated the power market, costing consumers about $80 million. More>>

ALSO:

XE Data Update: RBNZ Official Cash Rate Decision

The RBNZ will keep the Official Cash Rate (OCR) at 0.25%. T he key points in the RBNZ statement are: RBNZ keeps the OCR unchanged at 0.25% Maintain the LSAP (large scale asset purchase) at NZD$60 billion. Committee prepared to use additional monetary ... More>>

ALSO:

Electricity: Kiwis Ignore Promise Of Cheaper Power

Electric Kiwi and Flick Electric Co are joint winners of Canstar Blue’s award for Most Satisfied Customers | Electricity Providers From putting on an extra layer – rather than turning on a heater – to turning off lights and choosing the energy-saving ... More>>

ALSO:

Economy: COVID-19 Contributes To 1.6 Percent Fall In March Quarter GDP

Gross domestic product (GDP) fell 1.6 percent in the March 2020 quarter, the largest drop in 29 years, as the initial effects of COVID-19 restrictions impacted on economic activity, Stats NZ said today. This quarter’s GDP results showed a widespread drop ... More>>

ALSO:


Electricity: Transmission Pricing For A Low Carbon Future

The Electricity Authority has decided on new guidelines for transmission pricing. James Stevenson-Wallace, Chief Executive of the Electricity Authority says the new guidelines will deliver significant benefits to consumers, through lower electricity ... More>>

ALSO:

ASB: Investor Confidence Falls To Four-Year Low

As the world grapples with the fallout from the most significant pandemic the world has seen in a century, economic concerns are weighing on investors, dragging investor confidence down to a four-year low in the first quarter of the year. For the three ... More>>

ALSO:

Science Media Centre: Funding For R&D In New Zealand – Expert Reaction

Research, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Megan Woods has today announced $401.3 million funding for research and development through Budget 2020 and the COVID Response and Recovery Fund. The fund includes $150 million for an R&D loan scheme, ... More>>

ALSO:


Science: 2019 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes Announced

The 2019 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes have been announced in a digital livestream event today. The Prizes recognise the impact of science on New Zealanders’ lives, celebrate the achievements of current scientists and encourage scientists of the ... More>>

ALSO:


RNZ: Fuel, Alcohol Costs To Go Up From Today

The increase today in the taxes on fuel, road user charges and alcohol is being called a tone-deaf move. More>>

ALSO:

Stardome Observatory: Young Kiwi Astro-Photographer Shoots For The Stars

Matariki by Josh Kirkley. The stars are aligning for up-and-coming Auckland-based astro-photographer Josh Kirkley (Kāi Tahu). During lockdown, one of his images was picked up by NASA and shared on the space agency’s Instagram to its 59.2 million ... More>>


DCANZ: Time For EU To Commit To A Level Playing Field For Trade

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) has welcomed New Zealand Trade Minister David Parker’s statement that it is unacceptable for New Zealand exporters to continue facing an ‘unlevel playing field’ in the EU. Details leaked ... More>>

ALSO:

Potatoes New Zealand: Protecting NZ Fries As Part Of PNZ Pandemic Recovery & Transformation Plan

Potatoes New Zealand has met with Minister Faafoi this week to discuss investigating the potential importation of heavily discounted frozen potato chips into New Zealand. With MBIE’s support we are undertaking an investigation to gather evidence of the ... More>>

ALSO:


New Zealand Government: Supporting Kiwi Businesses To Resolve Rent Disputes

The Government will legislate to ensure businesses that suffered as a result of the COVID-19 response will get help to resolve disputes over commercial rent issues, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. More>>

ALSO:


Science Media Centre: Understanding 5G Concerns – Expert Q&A


Recent attacks on cell phone towers have brought concerns over the rollout of 5G technology into sharp relief.
While scientific research has consistently shown that the technology does not adversely affect human health, public concerns about its impact have spread around the world, fueled in part by growing misinformation online. The SMC asked experts to comment... More>>

ALSO:


Trade: Record Monthly Surplus As Imports Dive

Imports in April 2020 had their biggest fall since October 2009, resulting in a monthly trade surplus of $1.3 billion, Stats NZ said today. “This is the largest monthly trade surplus on record and the annual goods trade deficit is the lowest ... More>>

ALSO: