National needs to explain how they will fund the $6 billion funding gap in their 10-year Auckland transport plan, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford.
A yet-to-be-released report of the refreshed Auckland Transport Alignment Project shows $2.9 billion in extra funding is needed in the first decade because of faster than expected population growth, bringing the total funding gap to $5.9 billion.
“Last week the Prime Minister announced he was bringing forward $2.6 billion of projects into the transport plan’s first decade but said nothing about how they would be paid for. It’s no good promising things if you can’t pay for it. Aucklanders deserve an honest answer and a clear plan.
“National has rejected all of Auckland Council’s proposals for generating extra revenue to fill the funding gap, but haven’t come up with any answers of their own. There is now a $5.9 billion gap in the Government’s Auckland plan and National can’t say where the money is coming from.
“When Labour presented its plan to get Auckland moving, we also showed how we would pay for it. Labour’s light rail network, including rail to the airport, and other upgrades are needed now, so we will give Auckland Council the tools to help fund them.
“Labour has proposed four ways we will build Auckland’s rapid transit network and close the funding gap: a regional fuel tax, targeted rates to capture value uplift, infrastructure bonds, and central government paying its fair share through the National Land Transport Fund.
“National won’t say where the money is coming from for its plan. Either they don’t want to be honest with Aucklanders about how the funding will be raised, or they are going to force the rest of New Zealand to pay for Auckland’s growth,” says Phil Twyford.