The soaring costs of the SuperGold Card

Amelia Romanos at NZ Herald reports:

SuperGold Card travel costs are soaring as more people pick up the free scheme, and the Ministry of Transport says there is now a $4 million funding shortfall.

The card, which is available to pensioners and veterans, entitles users to a range of Government concessions, including free public transport during off-peak periods – 9am-3pm on weekdays.

This is not surprising. Anything that has a 100% subsidy tends to have costs get out of control, because there is absolutely no incentive for the beneficiaries of the subsidy to not use it as much as possible.

While personally I don’t think there should be a subsidy at all, if they have to have one it should be say 80% only, so that there is some disincentive for usage to increase to such a level that costs blow out.

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