Simon Bridges has a bright idea for costing National the next election

Simon Bridges has come up with a brilliant way to cost the government the next election…start flying kites about tolls for Auckland.

The Government appears to have softened its stance on road tolls in Auckland, saying that direct charges for road use will be needed to fund the growing city’s infrastructure.

The Government and Auckland Council today released their second report on the Auckland Transport Alignment Project, which will decide how the city’s transport system will be developed over the next 30 years and how it will be funded.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges said the joint project had found that achieving a “step change” in Auckland’s transport system would require “a range of interventions”.

“[The report] concludes that while ongoing investment in new road and public transport projects will clearly be needed, greater use of technology and in the longer term, road pricing – or directly charging for road use, will also be part of the toolkit.”

I don’t care what the report says; the politics say that if you implement tolls on Auckland’s motorways you will lose the next election.

Most Aucklanders will tell the government to get stuffed. Those motorways are already funded, by road user charges and petrol taxes. Adding on extra taxes for using roads that are already paid for is political suicide.

We wouldn’t have a problem with tolls for new roads but it is political suicide to propose, or even mention, putting tolls on our motorways.

Simon Bridges might think he is nice and safe in Tauranga but he shouldn’t be so smug. I can imagine a very large and well-funded third party campaign to rinse him if he did this.


– NZ Herald

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