Rodney Hide: Another 'little' tax - yeah, right

We are not spreading our road use through the day and the new charge is designed to make us do that. Photo / Doug Sherring
We are not spreading our road use through the day and the new charge is designed to make us do that. Photo / Doug Sherring

The Government now wants to charge us to drive during peak times. Our fault, apparently.

We are not spreading our road use through the day and the new charge is designed to make us do that.

Minister of Transport Simon Bridges says building more roads won't solve the problem. That's because we would just fill them up.

It's hard, though - they are such a good way to get about.

The new rationing policy is called Variable Network Pricing (VNP). Its purpose is to price some of us off the road. Those who use the roads must pay for each kilometre driven.

Those priced off will have to stay at home, drive off-peak or use some other form of transport.

The VNP will need to be high to make it work.

This is in addition to the taxes already on petrol. These include the National Land Transport Fund tax, the ACC Motor Vehicle Account tax, the Local Authorities Fuel tax, the Engine Fuels Monitoring tax, the Emissions Trading Scheme tax and, atop all those taxes, the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Income tax also hikes the price of petrol.

It's truly sick-making. It's not the congestion pricing and user-pays that bother me, but government.

First, government never delivered what it promised and what we paid for. That was a proper roading network.

Then it produced an enormous white elephant that was never going to work and that we must pay for. That's the rail network.

And now government declares it's our fault and makes us pay again through VNP.

The promise is that it will be small. And only to be spent on good things.

But that's how all taxes start.

The promise on income tax was only the very rich would ever pay it, it wouldn't be much and it would only be spent on things we needed.

The VNP will start small, it will soon be hiked, and it will be spent on dopey things we don't want and don't need.

There's much that Government could do that would be useful. Taxing us more is not one of them.

- Herald on Sunday

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Rodney Hide

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