Government transport policy not fit for new reality
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