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Labour Does A Dangerous U-Turn On Licences

17 August 2001

Labour has done a complete u-turn on where it stood pre-election by increasing the cost of renewing a 10-year driver's licence by about $15, National's Transport spokesperson Belinda Vernon said today.

"Yet again we are seeing from Labour the 'Maharey Principle' in action - what you say in Opposition is different from what you do in Government.

"In Opposition they were not only against photo licences they were against the cost of them. Now, not only are they keeping the licences but they have passed on significantly more cost to the overwhelming majority of drivers.

"Subsidies should be based on need. While no one would begrudge the elderly of a saving, age in itself doesn't create need. There are hundreds of thousands of New Zealand drivers on low-income. How are they going to afford these significantly higher licence fees?

"This licence fee hike will create a disincentive for people to get licences, posing the risk of more unlicensed drivers on our roads. With those additional dangers in mind, National fully supports the new school road safety education programme.

"When National was in Government it responded to calls from the community to lower the cost of the new 10-year licences.

"Mark Gosche should be focused on reducing costs and removing inefficiencies from the system, not simply passing the costs onto our drivers.

"In Opposition, Michael Cullen proposed that 'licences be issued free of charge'. But today, he and every other Government MP have proven that their protest over licence fees a couple of years back was nothing more than hollow political grandstanding," Belinda Vernon said


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