The Government’s delivery of extra funding for road construction has been welcomed by pretty much everyone except the Greens. Their idea of a transport solution is to have four hour delays on the roads so people will abandon their cars. Yes, seriously.
Over the next few years the Government will spend more on roading than it takes in petrol tax, and this is welcome. Of course this is also hypocritical as they attacked National for its pledge to do just that.
But there is still a difference between Labour and National’s policies. National has pledged as permanent policy to have all of the petrol tax spent on the roads. Labour are not committed to maintaining this, and are just doing one off ad hoc top-ups of roading from the consolidated fund.
As I have said before, the way for the future should be to set a policy to have all of the petrol tax go onto roading, and have the level of petrol tax adjust automatically to fund all projects over a specific benefit:cost ratio. This would deliver predictability and remove much of the politics around roading.