Different voice, same message: instead of Stephen Joyce or John Key, we had Bill English on Friday saying that they don’t have any money for Public Transport. Just money for roads. They’ve been forced to commit to $1.5billion of ongoing Auckland rail projects (mainly because they refused to allow it to be funded through a regional fuel tax), and that’s all it’s going to get, thank-you.
You’ll have to listen through Blinglish’s lies about his tax swindle being revenue neutral, even before people stopped spending money, resulting in the GST take not rising as expected. They’re not spending money as they don’t have it; having lost their jobs or not had pay rises as prices and rents rise. The Public Transport bashing starts at about 17 minutes.
Far from reading the tea leaves of the Local Government elections with their massive vote for public transport; he complains about rail’s lack of return on investment – as though we got money back from the billions we spend on roads.
He says that passenger rail only works in high-rise cities like Hong Kong, despite it being highly successful across Europe. And that you only encourage people to live in denser housing if they have ways to get around.
He says that Auckland will have to pay for any rail project through rates, despite the fact they pay at least 1/3 of New Zealand’s taxes.
He writes off plans as ‘uneconomic’ without any thought to how much is saved by not having a million people sitting in their cars, burning fuel, not working, waiting to get where they are going.
But then we should be used to National’s lack of a plan; just going along with their favourite lobby groups. Road haulage is a definite favourite, that has resulted in the cancellation of Labour’s coastal shipping policies, which were great for the environment and local industry, and reduced the pressure on the roads for ordinary New Zealanders. It has allowed bigger trucks on our roads, wearing them out much faster and making them less safe. And it will continue to result in public transport being denied at the expense of proven uneconomic roading projects like Wellsford-Puhoi and Transmission Gully.