Cut wasteful spending, implores ACT Leader Dr. Don Brash.
Build the underground rail loop, using taxpayers' money says ACT candidate John Banks according to the NZ Herald.
For every dollar of costs it generates benefits of 40c, says an independent Ministry of Transport/Treasury review of Auckland Council's wildly optimistic
demand for taxpayer funding "business case", even taking into account so-called "wider economic benefit".
So why is Don Brash supporting him?
Does a party that supports smaller government and less government spending believe in pouring NZ$2.4 billion into a project that:
- Will continuously require subsidies to be used and maintained because the people who would use it wouldn't pay the fares necessary for the trains to operate, let alone dig the hole and build the stations for the trains to use;
- Is based on a substantial portion of new Auckland commuter trips being from as yet unbuilt high density housing built adjacent to railway stations, even though there is little evidence Aucklanders want housing more closely akin to London, Manhattan and Paris, than New Zealand;
- Will not cater for the majority of increased trips forecast, as buses are meant to cater for those;
- Will only remove 3,800 car trips a weekday from the roads, which over a thirty year period is over $100 per car per day if you consider the capital cost over that period including interest. It would be cheaper to give all of those people a free daily commute sharing a door-to-door shuttle with six people in each one;
- Wont cater for the 89% of Aucklanders employed who do not work in central Auckland.
So does Don Brash have to give John Banks a slapdown, otherwise nothing will really have changed.