Release: Third of Kiwis face rising weekly transport bills

Weekly expenses will grow for some of the most vulnerable people in New Zealand as public transport fares are set to rise under the Coalition Government. More than thirty percent of the population will be impacted by the scrapping of free and half price public transport fares, Labour’s Transport Spokesperson Tangi Utikere said today.

“The National-led Government is about to pile unnecessary financial pressure on 1.6 million young New Zealanders. Extra weekly transport costs will put pressure on some of the most in need people nationwide, including working families and students,” said Utikere.

“Removing this subsidy will only mount further burdens on students, pressured families and working Kiwis, who will all be ultimately paying the price of National’s tax cuts for mega-landlords.

“The Labour Government made free and half-price fares for young Kiwis permanent to give them one less worry as they went about their daily lives – be it attending school, helping them get to work, or simply just getting around town.

“This backwards step joins a scrapheap of cuts by this Government, which includes scrapping universal free prescriptions, free early-childhood-education for two-year-olds and the electric vehicle exemption from road user charges.

“This only further proves that any talk of tax cuts are an empty promise with the rising costs that National are placing on New Zealanders.

“Whānau are already balancing much on their plates – this Government’s unhealthy obsession with cutting relief for those most in need is completely unacceptable.

“We’ve launched an online petition and are calling for Kiwis to take a stand against this unfair removal and stop the Government from making the lives of New Zealanders that much harder,” said Utikere.

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