Bad week for Twyford gets worse as he is caught lying like a flatfish

It has been a bad week for Phil Twyford, first up he was accused of using a constituent for political gain and washing his hands of him after gaining government, then he’s been made to look like a hypocrite over foreign land sales when Labour approved the sale of a farm to Canadians.

Now he walked right into Judith Collins’ trap and has been caught lying like a flatfish.

The Government has flagged changes to allow road taxes to be spent on rail projects.

Confirmation of the proposal came today after National’s transport spokeswoman Judith Collins accused Transport Minister Phil Twyford of saying different things to different people over diverting road taxes to rail.

In a statement issued to the Herald, Twyford said it is the Government’s policy to fund road, rail and public transport out of the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF).  

He said this would be done through the Government Policy Statement (GPS) currently being worked on and will be implemented in the next couple of years.

Twyford accused Collins of politicking but signalled changes for a new approach to the NLTF, including more emphasis on safety, more investment in regional roads and modern rapid transit for our cities.

Politicking? That’s what he has been doing for years. It is what politicians do. This man really is a slippery, oily, vainglorious tosspot.

Labour’s flagship rapid transit policy is to build modern trams, also known as light rail, from the Auckland CBD to the airport and from the CBD to West Auckland at a cost of $5 billion.

“It is not possible for the Government to take money from current roading projects in the Land Transport Fund. The Government is bound by legislation to operate within existing funding settings,” Twyford said.

So he says…but he’s lying.

Collins said Twyford had written to stakeholders last November outlining changes to the GPS are being considered,while his office was telling media last week that funding for road upgrades would not be redirected to rail.

“In his rush to erroneously claim that a number of roading projects aren’t under threat because of the Government’s obsession with Auckland rail, Mr Twyford has been saying different things to different people,” she said.

Collins said there is an important principle, adhered to by successive governments, ensuring the specific taxes paid by motorists are invested in newer, safer and better roads – helping keep New Zealanders connected and safe.

The National Land Transport Fund is paid for by road users to be invested in improving New Zealand’s roading network and it should remain that way,” she said.

Twyford said the Government has not altered any existing roading projects except Auckland’s East-West link and officials are working to identify a lower-cost, better-value option.

The Government is also allowing Auckland Council to introduce a regional petrol tax, believed to be 11.5 cents a litre, which will go to fund a range of projects, including the $3.4b City Rail Link and a share of the Government’s $5b light rail programme.

Caught red-handed and now blustering.

Judith Collins press release has more details:

Transport Minister Phil Twyford has confirmed the Government is considering diverting taxes paid by motorists who want better roads to rail instead, while insisting to media this won’t happen, National’s Transport Spokesperson Judith Collins says.

“This is an important principle, adhered to by successive governments, ensuring the specific taxes paid by motorists are invested in newer, safer and better roads – helping keep New Zealanders connected and safe. Road users pay taxes which are directly returned to them.

“But this now appears under threat, because of the Labour Party’s obsession with light rail in Auckland.

“Mr Twyford has written to stakeholders saying a number of changes to the Government Policy Statement (GPS) on land transport are being considered. Among the proposals is ‘exploring how rail investment is incorporated within the GPS and the National Land Transport Fund’.

“This is in spite of his office telling media last week that funding for road upgrades would not be redirected to rail.

“In his rush to erroneously claim that a number of roading projects aren’t under threat because of the Government’s obsession with Auckland rail, Mr Twyford has been saying different things to different people.

“This desperate grab for more taxes is the result of this free-spending Government realising how much it’s going to cost to build its pet rail line from Auckland’s CBD to the Airport – so it’s looking to divert funding from regional roads as a result.

Busted hard. Further, Judith Collins is bypassing media by speaking directly using Twitter:

 

-NZ Herald, National party, Twitter

 


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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