The transport sector is “encouraged” but not convinced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s promise to revisit a possible extension of the Government’s transport support package.

The sector is calling for certainty before Christmas.

“Most Kiwis don’t realise it, but if the Government doesn’t extend the package it will end on 31st January. The cost to fill their car will increase $10 to $15 overnight, the cost of catching a bus or a train will double, and their road user charges will increase 36%.”

Transporting New Zealand said that with inflation projected to increase to 7.5% in the new year, taking away the transport package could increase inflation to 8%, at a time when families and businesses can least afford rising costs.

“This is the one direct way the Government can ease cost of living rises for New Zealanders. Nobody should be fooled that a recent reduction in fuel costs is an end to volatility at the fuel pump or with any of their other household costs.”

Transporting New Zealand has released figures that show that to remove the support package, a 45 plus tonne truck and trailer traveling 100,000 km, would cost an additional $21,000 to operate.

“That additional cost will go straight onto the cost of groceries and consumer goods, and everything that is being carried by a truck, as those costs have to be passed on. This will hit all consumers and businesses as trucks carry 93% of freight.”

Nick Leggett says that the package should continue until inflation has dropped below 6%.

For further information, contact Nick Leggett, chief executive, Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand, 021 248 2175.

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