Thursday, 30th November, 2017
Responding to Auckland Mayor Phil Goff’s 10-year budget proposal of a 11.5c/L fuel tax, Auckland Chamber of Commerce head Michael Barnett said it should be part of a package that clearly sets out what the money will be spent on.
Will it be ring-fenced just to transport, and if so what projects exactly? Will congestion hot spots be targeted for action, if not why not? And what new projects will be started, or will it be spent mainly on renewals
Auckland cannot continue as it has if it is to have any hope of getting solutions to its critical transport and other problems – new sources of revenue need to be found.
“Council cannot expect to get away with imposing new rates and taxes without specifying exactly what the improvement in services will be,” he said.
In a message to business Barnett acknowledged that Auckland’s businesses are on tight margins. They need to start communicating with their clients warning them of price rises ahead. The costs of the new tax will have to be passed on.
Business has long been wanting an increase in pace and urgency to address Auckland’s infrastructure issues. “If the fuel tax helps Auckland to catch-up that will be a step forward, but for the tax to be accepted it needs to be part of a business plan that clearly shows what the benefits to Aucklanders will be.”