Ok. Now that the political theatre is done maybe National and its allies would like to engage in proper debate on the freight trucking industry.
Here’s some issues for debate:
Road user charges are less than 10% of costs and the increase, half what was recommended meaning petrol vehicles are still subsidising truck companies, is less than 1% of costs.
The price of diesel has increased 100% in the last year entirely due to the price of crude, and that is hurting the industry – the price of crude is only going up, so it’s only going to get more expensive to move freight by truck. So, shouldn’t we be looking at cheaper, more fuel efficient alternatives? maybe some kind of ‘super-truck’ that would glide on low-friction rails? hmm
Also consider this from the NDU, which represents truck-drivers:
“If the industry is saying that other taxpayers should be subsidising its activities with lower road user charges then it has to be prepared to open all its activities up to scrutiny and debate … Cut throat competition has driven down both wages and owner-operator incomes.
“Rather than train new people into the industry and pay them decent wages, organisations like the Road Transport Forum want to bring in migrant workers to drive their trucks on the cheap.”
While we’re at it, let’s consider these two questions: Is it possible to organise a protest involving dozens or hundreds of companies, thousands of vehicles (that run on tight, pre-planned schedules) in one and a half days? And what is National’s ‘positive and ambitious’ plan for freight in New Zealand?