We’re currently working though the budget announcements and stack of material released last week. What’s caught our eye are the unbelievable amounts taxpayers are forking out for KiwiRail. On Budget day the Government announced a further $198 million of funding for KiwiRail’s Turnaround Plan. That brings the total cost to taxpayers of rail to a whopping $12.2 billion dollars since rail was renationalised in 2008.
Worse, Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee has warned that KiwiRail is likely to need more what the Government is calling a 'turn around plan'.
The $12.2 billion taxpayer money written off on KiwiRail is equivalent to over $2,700 per taxpayer - nearly enough buy every Kiwi a return flight to London.
Per household, the amount is $6,900 - enough to buy a good, reliable second hand car.
The $12.2 billion refers to the total Crown investment of $2.4 billion since 2008 and write downs totalling $9.8 billion.
We've put out a statement calling on the Government to do a U-turn on KiwiRail. At what point will the Government stop throwing good money after bad? Taxpayers should not be burdened with bringing dead rats to life.
It is incredible that for all this money, we still have locomotives with asbestos and ferries that are lemons. We think taxpayers deserve better.