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Big holes in National’s infrastructure plans -Govt

Finance Minister Grant Robertson. Photo: RNZ.

The National Party needs to come clean on what projects they would cut to find their transport wish list, says Finance Minister Grant Robertson.

“There are some big holes in today’s announcement that need answers. The plan includes $6.2 billion in reallocation of existing projects from the current National Land Transport Fund, so National needs to say what projects it will cut.

“This is exactly what the last National government left us with when it came to infrastructure – a load of ghost roads, unfunded promises and hopeful press releases.”

“They are cutting Auckland’s transport funding but not identifying which projects will go. The axe is hanging over projects like Skypath that Aucklanders want and that will create jobs in the next year, in order to fund projects that are over a decade away.

“The Government has a fully funded infrastructure pipeline that will create jobs immediately in response to COVID-19. National’s plan puts those projects and jobs at risk while piling billions more debt onto NZTA that will ultimately be paid for by taxpayers.

“National assumes the NZTA will borrow a billion dollars a year – about a quarter of its annual revenue – every year for the next ten years. But at the same time there is no answer as to how they will pay that back.

“We have spent the last three years cleaning up National’s transport mess. They left a $5.9 billion dollar hole in Auckland’s transport budget that we had to fix, and today’s plan creates further funding holes.

“It doesn’t add up. They are saying they will increase NZTA’s debt, while delivering the same number of projects, but keeping its income to repay the extra debt the same. It just doesn’t square.

“National is in a shambles, and that is obvious when it comes to their contradictory position on debt.

“On the one hand, Paul Goldsmith is saying he will cut net debt to 30 per cent of GDP within 10 years while at the same time saying he will spend more and take on more debt to pay for Judith Collins’ wish list.

“It’s also back-to-the-future with National again making empty promises about the RMA. New Zealanders heard them promise this for nine years when they were actually in Government while failing to deliver on one word of it.

“This Government has actually got on with the job. We already have an RMA amendment bill in front of Parliament, and passed the legislation for a streamlined consenting process for a number of projects to get them off the ground faster.

“The Government’s New Zealand Upgrade Programme and the roll out of our $3 billion of shovel-ready projects are underway now. They will create jobs in the coming months and years that New Zealanders desperately need now as part of our COVID-19 rebuild.”

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@2up

Posted on 18-07-2020 20:03 | By

No, Simon brought us Uber. And lime scooters were on the agenda. But people can promise what they like and holes in budgets are irrelevant. As this government has shown, you can simply keep printing money.

They are NOT

Posted on 18-07-2020 07:48 | By

a Government, they are the Opposition. Being in that position it’s their job to make "promises" now and worry about how they can fulfill them IF they are elected. Or, more likely, what subterfuge they have to resort to lay blame for their broken promises on the previous government. Promises and delivery are two vastly different things. How can anyone believe with so much certainty that Ms Collins is the new Messiah?

last time we had National

Posted on 18-07-2020 05:45 | By 2up

And last time National was in office.. nothing was done. Tauranga had the sitting National minister of transport..nothing was done. How many years was National in charge.. nothing was done. don’t be fooled again

Its about not wasting money

Posted on 17-07-2020 19:33 | By First Responder

What projects will National cut to fund it. NONE. They are a Government that doesnt waste money like the Labour party. How much has been wasted on trees never planted, a mine never entered, a house plan never completed. Enough to build a road under the Kaimais. Pack your bags and leave it to the Crusher. Roll on elections