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Truck strike imminent!!!

Written By: - Date published: 1:58 pm, July 26th, 2012 - 38 comments
Categories: national, transport - Tags: ,

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.

38 comments on “Truck strike imminent!!! ”

  1. Tracey 1

    But wont their costs just get passed on to the end consumer anyway???

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Yep but that’s the truckies biggest worry. If they have to start charging how much it actually costs then they’ll be losing the long haul freight which will be switching to train and ship as both are cheaper than trucks.

      As much as I think that communities are filled with cross subsidisation and wouldn’t work without them we also need top get rid of the ones that cause so much misallocation of resources such as the ones that enable trucks to price cheaper than trains/ships.

      • Tracey 1.1.1

        I agree. I can’t imagine what the prid quo pro is in this for the trucking lobby… to make them not squeal about it? Or is the 20% the quid pro quo for all the roading projects???

  2. Tom Gould 2

    Where’s the arch-Tory who staged the apolitical spontaneous backlash now?

    • mike e 2.1

      Maybe we could get Shane Arden to drive his tractor up parliament steps again.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Summary: National can pull on levers of influence and power while outside Government that Labour has no access to when it is in Opposition.

    • Deano 3.1

      yeah, National has links to its groups that it can mobilise but you don’t see thousands or tens of thousands of people turning out in protests month after month on National’s issues. Labour and the Left win hands down on people power.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Labour and the Left win hands down on people power.

        That’s a nice thought but National gets at least half again as many votes as Labour does.

        You recognise the irony of a political party saying it represents all sectors and demographics of NZ society, particularly the majority of people who are the masses of working class and underclass…and then getting 30% of the vote.

        There is a serious disconnect there.

  4. blue leopard 4

    This appears to be another movement toward benefitting large businesses at the cost of smaller. I think NZ Governments need to get real and become much more proactive in supporting small businesses to flourish i.e not crippling them; which sadly appears to be what is occurring.

    From what I hear, it is very difficult to establish small businesses due to tax laws (again favouring larger companies).

    The more small businesses are encouraged, the more employment and entrepreneurship will occur and thus more activity and money flowing in the country. This would lead to a healthier and happier nation all round.

    Where are politicians heads at? Do they WANT high unemployment rates??

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      This appears to be another movement toward benefitting large businesses at the cost of smaller.

      That’s probably correct. This government, like all National governments, is a government for big business.

      From what I hear, it is very difficult to establish small businesses due to tax laws (again favouring larger companies).

      Then you hear wrong. It’s very, very easy to establish a business in NZ. If you get the taxes wrong then it’s because you were an idiot and either didn’t learn enough about the tax régime itself or hire an accountant that did. And if you’re that stupid you shouldn’t be running a business.

      The more small businesses are encouraged, the more employment and entrepreneurship will occur and thus more activity and money flowing in the country.

      Wrong again. It’s if people had access to the necessary resources to become entrepreneurial and such actions wouldn’t put them directly into poverty then more employment and entrepreneurship would occur. Neither of these happen because of the nature of capitalism to accumulate ownership of those resources and then to restrict access to them once ownership is secured. It also restricts entrepreneurship by instigating other arbitrary legal restrictions such as patents – competition does, after all, lower profits.

      Where are politicians heads at? Do they WANT high unemployment rates??

      Stuck in delusional economic systems and, with this government, yes they probably do want high unemployment as it lowers wages.

      • blue leopard 4.1.1

        Unclear whether you are being facetious Mr Bastard?

        When a person sets up a business and is considering expanding it, i.e employing another and discover that due to the leap in taxes involved with this scenario, will experience no financial reward, then it is hardly encouraging individuals to create work.

        It shouldn’t require a rocket scientist to establish a lawn-mowing business (for example).

        Discouraging people from creating work seems hardly an advisable approach for any Government to take.

        I am not talking about something I know the “ins and outs” of, yet have heard this scenario enough times to feel certain there are obstacles to establishing small businesses, meaning that despite having “the necessary resources” there is a problem in the area of going from a self employed person to one of employing another.

        Why should truck owners carrying light produce subsidize those carrying heavy produce? Why employ a government if they can’t be bothered to think about the consequences of each new approach they take? Isn’t that what they are there for?

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          Sorry mate you don’t seem to understand business at all.

          If the industry, business structure and business model you create can’t generate sufficient margins to stay in business, then you should go out of business, i.e. it’s what they call not viable.

          Don’t expect everyone else to bend over backwards to help you keep a non-viable business running eh. What needs to happen in such a case is that you need to restructure your business model, close the business down or go bankrupt, in order to make room for someone who has a better idea for a business than you do.

          • Rob 4.1.1.1.1

            Very simply , if the current trucking freight model is highly subsidised and the desire is that these subsidies will go, then the net impact will either be added cost of goods to the consumer and/or an extension of delivery lead times.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes, your point?

              Subsidies reduce the amount someone pays for the product. If that price is less than what it actually costs then there is a problem as it encourages a misallocation of resources – in this case, the use of trucks to do delivery when more efficient systems are available. It’s one of the few times where I agree with the economists.

          • blue leopard 4.1.1.1.2

            @ CV

            If the cause of a business being unviable is one of an anomaly in the tax system, do you think there would be advantage in clearing up that anomaly?

            I would have deemed it more beneficial to taxpayers to have 2 people employed paying less tax, than 1 person employed and another receiving an unemployment benefit. I would have deemed it more beneficial in more ways than solely financial if this were the case.

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.2.1

              If a business is so marginal that a minor taxation change causes it life or death, yeah its fucked and needs to totally revamp its structure and business model.

              I would have deemed it more beneficial to taxpayers to have 2 people employed paying less tax, than 1 person employed and another receiving an unemployment benefit.

              supporting marginal zombie businesses on life support is worse because it takes up space in the economy for real entrepreneurship and real job generation.

              If the private sector want private reward than it has to accept the risk which goes with it.

              • blue leopard

                @ CV Your responses surprise-very judgmental.

                The problem as presented to me was one of being a healthy business, with enough demand to expand, creating a job for another, however the self-starter in question was not going to experience any financial reward for the additional effort& skills that would be required to employ another and therefore decided not to.

                I thought this was a shame, that such a scenario existed and deemed it better that 2 people had jobs, than one working and another collecting a welfare benefit, therefore assumed it must be an anomaly in the tax system. i.e something that was causing consequences that weren’t intended.

                I consider it unreasonable for you to refer to such as a “marginal zombie business”. And do not deem ironing out a negative effect as described to be “support”, simply one of removing an unintended obstacle.

                Would you reckon its better to support marginal zombie lives not working at all than to encourage active lives-be it zombie as deemed by you or not?

                • McFlock

                  And in the real world, how many people are affected by that scenario? As opposed to the added efficiency of a more streamlined tax system?

                  • blue leopard

                    Good question McFlock

                    • McFlock

                      I was asking you. If it’s a purely theoretical question, or maybe 5 people stay unemployed initially but the govt has an extra $5mil to bung into other projects and 100 people end up in paid employment, in more viable businesses that add value to the economy, then your “one person on the dole and one person in a job” scenario is somewhat pointless.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      blue leopard’s scenario is irrelevant anyhows. We know how capital is being drained out of this country. Corporates like BNZ, Telecom, Contact, Carter Holt Harvey should be 100% NZ owned and the profits ploughed back into the NZ economy.

                      Billions of dollars being drained away to foreign investors giving us nothing that we didn’t already have.

                      @ CV Your responses surprise-very judgmental.

                      Its not a moral judgement mate, its the reality of free enterprise in a free market! Businesses which are not viable should be allowed to fail so capital and workers can be better allocated to successful enterprises.

                    • blue leopard

                      @ CV (6.08pm)

                      Not so very irrelevant; The main positive approach being advanced by people who actually want to DO something toward the very real problem you cite (and I agree with) is one of undermining the corporations by setting up small businesses and supporting them.

                      If there are obstacles in place for people to expand small businesses while concessions are in existence for large businesses, then this poses very real problems for ever keeping money in NZ, or having an empowered society, capable of voting for policies that serve them and not the big money interests who can afford to employ people to devise fallacious slogans that disempowered people are prone to believing.

                      @McFlock. (5.42pm)

                      Are you suggesting we agree to policies that agree to creating unemployment (and thus disenchantment) and wait around for a Government invest in approaches that create jobs?!!

                      LOL!!

                      We will be waiting for a long time for ANY of our Governments to consider job creation as an issue more important than pandering to big money interests.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      If there are obstacles in place for people to expand small businesses while concessions are in existence for large businesses

                      Of course there are obstacles in place. The main one is the lack of cheap business credit available to new businesses. This is absolutely the main one and you’ve never mentioned it.

                    • blue leopard

                      CV (7.25pm)

                      Why invest in “marginal zombie businesses” when one has money to invest when you can put it into the high status futures market and make so much more?

            • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1.2.2

              If the cause of a business being unviable is one of an anomaly in the tax system, do you think there would be advantage in clearing up that anomaly?

              That’s why we have government and that’s what this entire post is about – the government fixing a tax anomaly. People are saying that it will actually close businesses.

              What you’re describing isn’t a tax anomaly though. It’s just the normal result of doing business.

              I would have deemed it more beneficial to taxpayers to have 2 people employed paying less tax, than 1 person employed and another receiving an unemployment benefit.

              Employed doing what? Doing something that no one wants them to do? Because that’s really what you’re asking for.

              • blue leopard

                DTB,

                My bad, I thought this thread was about CREATING a tax anomaly, not fixing it.

                I understood this post to be about an anomaly being created to save bureaucrats from having to spend time on “complicated” matters (poor dears) and in order to achieve that, certain Truckies are going to have to pay extra for weight they are not carrying, thus providing taxes to fix damage to roads they are not creating.

                I referred earlier to the example of a lawn-mowing business. The person in question was considering employing another, in response to demand being present, (who would think of expanding if this were not the case??) and decided not to realizing that doing so would incur no extra financial reward, yet would entail more skill, effort and responsibility that goes along with employing another. I hope the person in question did get something wrong (due to added complexity you referred to earlier) and will pass the information on.

                My comments re not knowing the “ins and outs” of the scenario, was not one of “whinging”, simply an acknowledgement that I could be getting something wrong, due to it being based on things I’d heard, not experienced myself.

                When people refer to the power of big business in lobbying Government for approaches that suit them, this is the type of result that ensues; policies that suit the businesses that lobby and create obstacles for those who don’t have such power. I consider this Truckie thing to be this type of arrangement.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.2

          When a person sets up a business and is considering expanding it, i.e employing another and discover that due to the leap in taxes involved with this scenario, will experience no financial reward, then it is hardly encouraging individuals to create work.

          If that happens then the person should probably not expand the business. Of course, in reality there isn’t a leap in taxes but they do become complex but that’s the natural result of making the business itself more complex.

          Discouraging people from creating work seems hardly an advisable approach for any Government to take.

          It’s not discouraging at all.

          I am not talking about something I know the “ins and outs” of, yet have heard this scenario enough times to feel certain there are obstacles to establishing small businesses, meaning that despite having “the necessary resources” there is a problem in the area of going from a self employed person to one of employing another.

          The only obstacle is the lack of knowledge and whinging about that isn’t going to help as the ignorance will still cause the business to fail.

          Why should truck owners carrying light produce subsidize those carrying heavy produce?

          They shouldn’t which is why I suggested an active weighing system on trucks. The trucks would then be charged appropriately. Hmmm, thinking about that a bit more, that active weighing system would also need to report the odometer and probably the location as well.

    • DH 4.2

      “From what I hear, it is very difficult to establish small businesses due to tax laws (again favouring larger companies).”

      That’s not my experience, small businesses get pretty good tax concessions and setting up is easy enough.

      A lot of talk about tax is sour grapes from people who just don’t like paying tax, others are people who want a rolls royce income from a lada business and paying tax interferes with their delusions.

      The whole point about tax in business is that you only have to pay it if you make a profit. And if you’re making a profit then tax shouldn’t be that big a deal should it.

    • Rob 4.3

      How does having things shipped by sea freight or rail help small businesses. There are lots of small business trucking companies, I have never come across a small coastal shipping business (I am probably wrong here , but I am assuming a coastal freighter is more expensive than an articulated truck), also there does not seem to be huge range of small business rail firms, so please enlighten me.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.3.1

        How does having things shipped by sea freight or rail help small businesses.

        Because it’s cheaper than having it delivered by truck. The costs are incurred no matter what but the subsidies prevent people from seeing those costs.

        There are lots of small business trucking companies…

        But there probably wouldn’t be if those businesses weren’t subsidised the way that they presently are.

        The trucking business only exists in its present form due to massive subsidies and are thus a misallocation of resources. Essentially, those trucking firms shouldn’t exist. You’re also looking at it from the point of view that removal of small trucking firms will be a permanent decrease in small business when what will actually happen is that those people who leave the trucking business will look move to another business. This may require courses at a night school, polytech, or university and will need to be supported through government action but that’s another discussion.

      • felix 4.3.2

        Also, moving more goods long-distance by rail and sea may open up a lot of opportunities for novel, flexible approaches to getting them to and from the ports/stations at each end.

        • Bored 4.3.2.1

          And I can go fishing without such a high risk of being flattened by a road train.

  5. DH 5

    I agree with the truckies, it is unfair and the excuse that it makes the beancounters job easier is a bit of an insult. General carriers typically charge freight by the cubic metre rather than by weight because they invariably fill a truck before they exceed its weight limits. That’s pretty strong evidence that trucks are rarely carrying the full rated weight so it’s a bit rough to charge them for freight they’re not carrying.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      The easy way would be an active weighing system on the trucks that reported via wireless but I suspect that would be too hard for the politicians to get their heads around.

    • mike e 5.2

      1truck can do up 80,000 times the damage a passenger car does to our rods but on average a fully laden truck 44 tons of cargo and 12 tons of truck do 10,000 times more damage than a passenger car

      • Mark 5.2.1

        Well that’s easily solved.. get 100 cars carrying 440kg of freight each, that’s 100 driving jobs as well…
        Jeepers, for every truck we get off the road massive benefits accrue..

        and mike e.. I don’t want trucks or cars damaging my rod thanks!

  6. It will force transport of goods by Rail, once again.
    Good for KiwiRail and the country.

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  • Speech to the Climate Change and Business Conference
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