Government proposes more fuel tax, more spending on walking, cycling and trains

The Green influence seems obvious in changes to funding and expenditure on transport, with a possible increase in  fuel tax (for Aucklanders that would be a double hit), and substantially more funding to go towards public transport, and cycle and walking infrastructure.

Stuff:  Government to invest in road safety and rapid rail at expense of state highway upgrades

The Government has unveiled its 10-year plans for land transport, which includes huge investment in road safety and rapid rail at the expense of state highway upgrades.

The annual $4 billion a year National Land Transport Fund is a work programme carried out by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), which is guided by the priorities set by the Government in the Government Policy Statement (GPS).

  • Proposing a fuel tax increase of between nine and 12 cents a litre to fund a raft of new land transport plans that focus on investing in road safety and rapid rail.

The tax would be a double whammy for Aucklanders who can also expect Auckland Council to introduce about ten cents a litre in regional fuel taxes to pay for major transport projects.

  • Walking and cycling infrastructure is getting a 248 per cent boost in funding over three years and a whole new area is being set up to deal with funding for rapid transit.
  • The other big investment areas in the GPS are regional roading improvements, public transport – which is receiving a 46 per cent hike in funding – and new investment in rapid transit and rail.

So a major shift being tried from private car use to public transport and Shanks’ pony.

But National’s transport spokesman Jami-Lee Ross says the Government’s proposal will be met with “anger and disappointment right around New Zealand”.

Cutting $5 billion out of the state highway construction programme over ten years is an “extraordinary blow for regional New Zealand from a Government which has claimed to stand behind it”.

Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter:

Today marks our first huge win for the Greens in government.  Alongside Labour, we’ve just announced an exciting, transformative transport strategy for Aotearoa.

The National government were stuck in neutral, taking money from the regions to spend 40% of the transport budget on just a few stretches of motorway. Instead, we’re putting that money into projects with high total returns and focussing on public transport, cycling and road safety upgrades, especially in regional areas where we have seen far too many accidents and roads in disrepair.

What does it mean? We’ll more than double expenditure on public transport and cycleways in cities, but we know that half of all travel occurs on local and regional roads. New investment of $800 million will focus on desperately needed safety improvements – more median barriers and passing lanes on the open road, and safer streets in our towns. We’re also investing in regional rail to reduce big trucks on your roads.

And we’re tackling climate change. For the first time ever, we’re making the environment a major priority in transport. From now on, transport spending must focus on how it can reduce climate pollution as well as other negative impacts on public health such as water quality.

I’m so proud of these wins. They wouldn’t have happened without the Greens in government.

Some good will come of this, but not everyone will be happy.

You may be best to hope for subsidised walking shows and bicycle clips, and hope you live c lose enough to a railway line but not too close to be annoyed by the noise.

32 Comments

  1. I thought that Grant Robertson or someone from Labour had made an assurance that there would be no tax increases this term, but may remember that incorrectly.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  April 3, 2018

      Cynic.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  April 3, 2018

        They cancelled the tax CUTS, of course, and I remember Jacinda Ardern saying how high the cost of petrol was…I can’t remember if she actually said that they WOULD do something about it. If she did, well, they have.

    • Ray

       /  April 3, 2018

      Andrew Little (when he was leader) said there would any no new taxes this year while Grant Robertson/Miss Ardern said no new taxes or rather not from the “tax working groups” recommendations till 2020.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  April 3, 2018

        That’s waht it sounds like on the Labour website, certainly (I looked it up a few minutes ago)

        Notice the ‘out’ that makes this meaningless.

    • Blazer

       /  April 4, 2018

      no NEW taxes.As the P.M pointed out every govt tweaks excise duty from time to time.Even National ones..tobacco a good example.

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  April 3, 2018

    First of many tax increases. Most of it to be swallowed up by more bureaucracy I expect.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  April 3, 2018

      Do you remember her saying that petrol cost too much on the news ? This seems an odd way of making it more affordable. I suspect that Labour will have lost a few supporters in Auckland. She said somewhere else that various things were going to cost people more, but brushed it aside as not really important.

      My dog wants to say that the one cuddling up to Jacinda Ardern is NOT him. He’ll bite anyone who says it is.

  3. Kitty Catkin

     /  April 3, 2018

    I wonder how they changed global warming in the Middle Ages. It was there, then it wasn’t. What caused it then ? Could it be, in fact, cyclical as many people believe ?

  4. Blazer

     /  April 3, 2018

    a levy that will benefit citizens …directly.

    • Gezza

       /  April 3, 2018

      Might benefit a few lucky ones. Motorists & transport operators will be paying thru the nose. Costs will get passed on by the transport industry I expect. Taxation by stealth always irritates me. Hate it when any government does it.

  5. PDB

     /  April 3, 2018

    Some good comments on that article…

    “”Genter said the most dangerous roads aren’t state highways, they’re regional roads”. So logically should build more highways then.”

    “So a 248% increase in cycling infrastructure funded by road users. Great! How do I get my hobby paid for by someone else?”

    “Oh great Labour, while the country grinds to a halt the cyclists and walkers will take over and…what, move freight on their heads?”

    • Blazer

       /  April 4, 2018

      move freight on trains…err…freight trains.

      • Gezza

         /  April 4, 2018

        Increase everybody’s income tax – take an extra 0.5% off anybody who complains, & tax offshore online purchases.
        [Deleted, please cut the personal digs, they inevitable escalate. PG]

      • PDB

         /  April 4, 2018

        Those ‘freight trains’ go right to the doors of businesses and houses Blazer?

        • Blazer

           /  April 4, 2018

          not usually…and very unlikely to stop outside farmers gates or…cabinet ministers holiday homes!

          • PDB

             /  April 4, 2018

            Ron Mark has the air force helicopter come to his back door.

  6. oldlaker

     /  April 3, 2018

    If they don’t cut immigration (as they promised), traffic problems will only get worse. 800 new cards a week on Auckland’s roads is a nightmare.

  7. oldlaker

     /  April 3, 2018

    *cars*

    • Gerrit

       /  April 3, 2018

      Do you have a link to the actual figures? Yep 800 new cars on the road, but how many are taken off by de-registration?

  8. Trevors_Elbow

     /  April 3, 2018

    Soooo….. Fisi/Hone/John lives in South Auckland and JUST gets by on his wage and his partners wage (she works [nights cleaning/part-time doing clerical work/in retail]) but both rely on their vehicles to get to/from work which is poorly serviced by rail or bus links and to get the kids to/from rellies/school/sports…..

    the fuel bill is big already and the combined wage plus WFF means they just get by…so Labour is hiking their fuel bill by what 10%? Which will bite on the household budget

    So they do this and their constituency will moan about ends not meeting… so they will hike WFF which means more taxes on non WFF NZers to pay for it all…..

    Hmm the GST increase on fuel will offset the WFF increases a little BUT GST on other discretionary spending will fall as more taxes bite on disposable incomes….

    oh dear more taxes just as a world expansion cycle ends leads to real problems…

    The beginning of the Labour tax and spend bubble which will meet international recession and explode leaving a mess to clean up…

    All so the Greens of the 7% can have more cycle ways and pursue their policy of forcing everyone to live in apartment blocks next to rail lines….sounds like hell….

    NZers voted for it so they get what they deserve…

    • Blazer

       /  April 4, 2018

      oh dear the Key Govt hydrauliced G.S.T by 20%…that had an effect on…everyone!Barely a whimper on that broken promise/lie.

      • High Flying Duck

         /  April 4, 2018

        Once again with the half story – income taxes were reduced at the same time, so the net tax effect was – no change.

        • Blazer

           /  April 4, 2018

          why did he do it …then?

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  April 4, 2018

            So that people were rewarded for working and saving more.

            • Blazer

               /  April 4, 2018

              HFD says…’so the net tax effect was – no change.’…which one of you is…clueless?

            • High Flying Duck

               /  April 4, 2018

              The answer is definitely you Blazer.
              Alan was entirely correct. The effect was savings are rewarded and consumption taxed.

            • Blazer

               /  April 4, 2018

              @HFD that was not the effect at all.The reality is savers have been hammered by all time low interest rates,and borrowers and speculators have prospered.As you know the ave house earned more in a week than the average hardworking… kiwi did.So you are now crowned King Clueless.

      • Trevors_elbow

         /  April 4, 2018

        Oh look a lying by omission troll…. HFD is right gst up income tax down.

        I did support what Key did… thus is about now.

        Isnt it fun how Labour taxes always hurt the lower incomed cohorts the most….

        • Blazer

           /  April 4, 2018

          oh look .someone else who can’t explain how and why we look at legislation in ‘pairs’ now….and if they cancel each other out…why bother!