Remember all the fuss in 2008 when the Labour government tried to make a 1% increase in road user charges affecting truckies? Remember the “truck strike”? A “blockade of major centres”, with commuters advised to stay at home. Quelle horreur!
Well brace yourselves, because:
Truckies cry foul over new road charges
An Auckland transport firm will be hit with a $200,000 rise in annual costs after changes to road-user charges come into force next month, its owner says. And Gerald Hudson, executive chairman of Provida Foods, a food wholesaler and transporter, says the changes will unfairly benefit the heaviest trucks that cause the greatest damage to the country’s roads.
Under the present system, transport operators estimate the weight they will carry and pay licensing fees accordingly. The Road User Charges Act, which comes into effect on August 1, will assign trucks with a permanent weight classification based on a vehicle’s maximum allowable on-road weight.
A Ministry of Transport spokesman said the changes would simplify the administration process for government agencies and industry. They would also “close the door” on weight-based evasion – operators underestimating the weight of a vehicle and purchasing incorrect licences, the spokesman said.
…Freightways managing director Dean Bracewell said he was also disappointed with the changes, which would result in a more than 20 per cent rise in costs for the company’s inter-city line haul fleet.
So Labour’s 1% increase in road user charges caused a well staged and well publicised backlash. What kind of catastrophic response will these increases of up to 20% of costs provoke??? Oh – that’s right – none at all. Because the Nats have no interest in staging a backlash this time.