Monday, April 22, 2024

Transport package picks up pace

Further details of the Government’s transport package to support New Zealanders through the current global energy crisis have been agreed by Cabinet, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced.

In addition to the 25 cents a litre cut to Fuel Excise Duty for three months, the Government can now confirm:

  • From 1 April to 30 June 2022, funding will be provided for local government to implement half price public transport fares covering core public transport services, Te Huia and Capital Connection train services, and Total Mobility services for those with long-term impairments who are unable to use public transport.
  • From Late April to late July 2022, Road User Charges will be cut by 36% across all legislated rates.

“The confirmation of the Road User Charges discount and full scope of the public transport fare reduction will support New Zealanders through the global energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine,” Mr Wood said.

“I want to assure road user charges payers they will get three months of reduced rates, even with the later start date. The complexity of road user charges means that a few more weeks are required to put the reduced rates in place.

“The road transport industry plays a vital role in the supply of food and other essential goods across the country. It was important to the Government that we backed the industry through these challenging times.

“As a Government, we are committed to supporting public transport. By halving fares we can directly reduce transport costs for households and encourage those who can to substitute their current car travel for public transport that is readily accessible. Reducing public transport fares also provides households with more money to manage rising living costs, which will be impacted by fuel prices.”

The Minister said the confirmed scope of the fare discount, including key additional services that currently receive funding support from Waka Kotahi such as Capital Connection and Total Mobility, would ensure that New Zealanders see “meaningful difference”.

“The cut in the Fuel Excise Duty which came into effect last week has had an immediate impact at the pumps. I know that once the other parts of the package are in place in April, some of the pressures that many New Zealanders are facing will be reduced.”

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine will continue to impact global energy markets and supply chains. We will be actively monitoring the situations over the coming months and working with our partners to make sure we have the overall package right.

“This support package will make a real difference to hard working families currently struggling with rising costs in these uncertain times,” he said.

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