The only new idea in the Government’s transport package is a multi-billion dollar tram which Aucklanders will pay an extra $15 in petrol taxes for every time they fill up, National’s Transport spokesperson Jami-Lee Ross says.

“The Government has just re-announced National’s Auckland transport package but confirmed it will tax Aucklanders an extra 25 cents a litre of fuel to deliver its half-planned, half-funded multi-billion dollar tram to the Airport.

“The difference between National and Labour’s plans is under Labour, Aucklanders will be paying hundreds of dollars a year more in fuel taxes but getting fewer new roads, with billions diverted to a tram from the CBD to the Airport.

“Work was already underway on everything from improving public transport to the Airport, the Eastern Busway and the East-West Link.

“If busways are okay for the rest of Auckland, why is a tram to the airport such a necessity? It costs billions of dollars more and still isn’t fully funded – in spite of the major new tax on Aucklanders and while there are cheaper, more practical options available.

“Penlink and Mill Rd were also going to happen under National with Mill Rd was already consented.

“But the versions announced today are stripped back as a result of the blinkered obsession with the tram, meaning it’s Aucklanders as well as regional New Zealand motorists who are being hurt by the gutting of state highway funding.

“The Government wants to deliver substandard alternatives while still expecting locals to pay more in petrol taxes.

“Aucklanders deserve better transport links and National proved they could be delivered without imposing major new taxes.

“National was delivering a record infrastructure package without new taxes because we managed the books well and made practical investments.”

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