National and their corporate media puppets are screaming about a 20cent petrol tax to fund the grotesque under investment in our roading and public transport infrastructure…
National’s transport spokesman Jami-Lee Ross said that was peanuts compared to more than $5b being stripped out of the state highway network over the next 10 years which would have benefited the regions.
Ross said that left regional drivers “paying for trams in Auckland”.
“This is an extraordinary blow for regional New Zealand, from a Government which has claimed to stand behind it. Instead, the Government is saying their needs are secondary and ensuring tourists can get from the Auckland CBD to the airport is more pressing.”
…this hyperventilation by National will continue to paint public transport initiatives as latte sipping ‘nice-to-haves’ rather than a desperate need to turn investment into public transport.
It also misses the truth National were already planning this petrol tax rise, so painting it as something Labour have done is deceitful…
Climate change demands we start moving away from petrol and start investing in more cycleways, public transport while making the existing roading network safer. The new Government are at least providing real leadership and direction on this by forcing those who create the pollution and congestion to start paying more for it.
10-year transport plan highlights:
• Up to $4 billion over five years for light rail, starting in Auckland.
• Up to $720 million for other rail projects, including a trial of commuter rail between Tauranga, Hamilton and Auckland.
• An extra $200m a year on other public transport.
• Paid for by fuel tax increase of 9-12 cents a litre, introduced over three years.
• Spending on state highway upgrades to drop from about $8.5b to $6b over five years.
• Motorway upgrades already under way to be completed but future Roads of National Significance scrapped.
• Increased spending on road safety measures, including policing and possible lower speed limits.
• More paths for cyclists and pedestrians
• The draft plan will be open for submissions until May 2.
While the new Government are being so brave, it’s time to seriously consider a sugar tax because the University of Otago are pretty damning in their conclusion…
A sugary drink tax will have a number of impacts/benefits including:
1. A price signal to the consumer to reduce consumption (makes an impact reduce obesity rates by around 1%, not massive but has an impact
2. A price signal to the industry to reformulate (i.e. reduce sugar content to move products down a tier). The health gain from this mechanism is probably twice that of the price signal to the consumer.
3. The incentives on industry to change marketing to less sugary drinks.
The researchers also refute a recent New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) report that argues against taxing sugary drinks. “This report, commissioned by the Ministry of Health, has some serious flaws,” says Professor Blakely.
“There have been at least nine good studies including a thoroughly researchedAustralian Grattan Institute report. Unfortunately the NZIER chose to include only one of the studies,” says Blakely.
Blakely says a soft drinks industry levy is something that could be put in place right now in New Zealand and would not tip the apple cart in light of macro-level rebalancing of our total tax system.
The World Health Organization recommends taxing sugary drinks. And here in New Zealand, the NZ Medical Association and the Heart Foundation recommend taxing sugary drinks.
…big sugar and big oil have had it too good for too long – the time is now to start taxing them!
Expect to start hearing the astro-turf Taxpayer’s Union screaming about sugar tax and petrol taxes as their clients begin funding counter narrative campaigns.
The new Government must show courage and not get spooked.
These people above mustn’t be allowed to dictate transport and health policy.