Gov­ern­ment trans­port pol­icy not fit for new re­al­ity

New Zealand Truck & Driver - - Front Page -

BUD­GET 2020 SAW FI­NANCE MIN­IS­TER Grant Robert­son de­liver a swathe of Gov­ern­ment spend­ing and bor­row­ing – un­like any­thing we have seen in this coun­try. Bil­lions of dol­lars are be­ing bor­rowed to main­tain a work­force tee­ter­ing on the edge of un­em­ploy­ment, sup­port in­dus­tries like tourism that have been dec­i­mated by COVID19 and boost crit­i­cal pub­lic ser­vices like health.

Much of it is nec­es­sary….and yet the pre­dic­tions from econ­o­mists are that we will still be left with one of the deep­est re­ces­sions in our his­tory.

No­body was sur­prised by the Bud­get and prob­a­bly be­cause of that (as well as the pub­lic ac­cep­tance of the Gov­ern­ment’s lock­down de­ci­sions), it didn’t re­ceive the pub­lic scru­tiny that such bor­row­ing de­serves.

New Zealand tax­pay­ers will be sad­dled with this debt and face hav­ing to pay it back for gen­er­a­tions to come. That alone should mean that Gov­ern­ment de­ci­sions that ded­i­cate bil­lions of dol­lars to fi­nan­cial black holes like re­gional rail de­serve the stiffest pos­si­ble ex­am­i­na­tion.

In the midst of the COVID-19 lock­down the Road Trans­port Fo­rum made our own ex­am­i­na­tion to the draft 2021 Gov­ern­ment Pol­icy State­ment on Trans­port. To be fair, this was a doc­u­ment writ­ten pre-COVID-19, how­ever, we have no op­tion but to con­sider it in the con­text of a far weaker eco­nomic

Fa­cil­i­tat­ing the suc­cess of our pri­mary sec­tor will be crit­i­cal to New Zealand’s eco­nomic re­cov­ery

by Nick Leggett Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Road Trans­port Fo­rum NZ

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