So, let’s get this straight the Government has increased road user charges for diesel vehicles by half the amount recommended by the Ministry of Transport to cover the roading costs of those vehicles. The increase is 7-8%. Road user chargers account for 10% of trucking costs. So, we’re talking a less than 1% increase in trucking costs, about $198 a year for a 23-tonne truck, every cent of which will be used for building our transport infrastructure.
Crude oil prices mean diesel has doubled in price in the last year but this 1% is the end of the world? For $198 a truck a year, they’re going to blockade our motorways during rush-hour? Hell, half a day wasted blocking the motorway would be worth more than $198 a truck, let alone the cost to the rest of the economy.
Give me a break. The road user charges are just the excuse; the protest is the objective. Tony Friedlander, head of the Road Transport Forum, former National Minister, secret major National donor, and star of the Hollow Men is behind the protest. He told Transport Minister Annette King the protest would be happening weeks ago, before the road user charge changes were announced.
This has nothing to with with a 1% increase in trucking costs, it is simply an attempt to make the Government look bad – a long-planned hollow attack from a core National backer.