Jacinda says Twyford’s tram tax isn’t a tax, Twyford disagrees

Jacinda Ardern has been trying to hose down allegations that she has broken their “no new taxes” election promise.

No one is really listening to her anymore, and even Phil Twyford disagrees, calling his new tram tax a tax on the AM Show.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford told The AM Show on Friday it was time to “get on and fix this problem”, calling Auckland the “transport basketcase of New Zealand”.

“We’re going to build a modern transport system that has rapid transit and public transport that gets cars off our roads so the roads can continue to move freely.”


The regional fuel tax, expected to start July 1, will contribute $170 million a year – but Mr Twyford says that’s only “down payment” equivalent to about 5 to 10 percent of what’s needed.

That tax, expected to be implemented by Auckland Council, will be on top of a nationwide increase in the fuel tax of between 9 and 12 cents. End  of quote.

So, more tax increases for more trams?

Judith Collins gave him an absolute shellacking as well:

“This is an absolute tax on people, the poorest people,” said Ms Collins.

“In my electorate in Papakura, it’s these people who are going to pay the most because they live the furtherest out from Auckland. They have to in many cases work shift work when trains and rapid transport or whatever are not actually working. They’re the ones who will have to pay.”

She said only wealthy people can afford to avoid the hiked fuel tax by purchasing an electric vehicle, and a rapid transit system 10 years down the track is “not going to do a damn thing”.

Mr Twyford said with a decent public transport network, people won’t have to drive at all – petrol or electric.

“The worst thing for low-income families and workers who have to drive across town to get to work is the lack of a decent public transport system forces them to choose the most expensive transport option – that is to run a car. There are families in my electorate (Te Atatu, west Auckland) where it’s not uncommon to see five or six cars parked outside their house because people have no choice.”

Mr Twyford wouldn’t promise to resign if Labour’s plans fail to fix Auckland’s gridlock. End of quote.

Why would he resign? That would be being accountable. But Phil Twyford is a wanker for saying that people won’t have to drive. I live in Whangaparaoa and there is no viable rapid public transport system for us. The only viable transport is a private motorcar. And Labour won’t build a new bridge to remove bottlenecks.

It is simply ridiculous for Labour to suggest that we won’t have to drive. What planet do these people live on?

Twyford is certainly living up to his middle name right now.

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