Here's how to pay for the infrastructure rebuild | Josie Pagani



Here's how to pay for the infrastructure rebuild

Auckland's light rail to the airport is first on the bonfire. It is budgeted to cost $14 billion. That’s predicted to double. It sounds great. Who doesn't want our own London Underground? But the rebuild is more important. So that’s $30b right there.

Lake Onslow is the next to go. It's a massive valley in Otago that will be concreted over so we can use electric power to push water uphill, store it, and then generate power from the water running downhill when other lakes are empty.

If Onslow is such a good idea, why does the government have to pay for it? When I talk to experts they say Onslow will take until 2040 to build and cost $8b to $10b. Burn it.

So far I have freed up $40b. You could give every household in Auckland a free Tesla for the combined cost of light rail and Onslow.

Come to think of it, taxing tradies with utes to give an $8k subsidy to people who can afford to buy an EV was always a middle class subsidy that didn't pass the sniff test. The subsidy has cost $300 million, with the ute tax covering $100m of that. Each of those EVs then gets another $2000-$3000 a year in avoided contributions towards the cost of the roads it drives on.

That's another $50,000 subsidy if the car lasts 20 years, like my Mum's Toyota. How much subsidy is too much? EVs could at least give way to the rest of us at intersections.

Josie's column is here.

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