TL;DR: The National-ACT-NZ First Government has pulled around $180 million/year of public transport funding out of Auckland Council’s budget by cancelling the Auckland Fuel Levy from the end of June, but isn’t replacing the funds.
Instead, Transport, Auckland Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has ordered Mayor Wayne Brown to stop spending on cycleways, busways and speedbumps. The move will increase congestion and climate emissions. It also paves the way for congestion charges.
Elsewhere in the news in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy and beyond at 8 am:
The Commerce Commission thinks Meridian, Mercury, Genesis and Contact may have breached the Commerce Act by restricting competition, but the anti-monopoly watchdog won’t formally investigate because it doesn’t have enough money. The Electricity Authority will have a look again instead, as it has done repeatedly over 20 years.
The mostly-state-controlled electricity industry has warned MPs $130 billion of investment is needed to electrify the economy and cut climate emissions to zero, but says most of the investment won’t happen because its profits aren’t big enough.
GPs say they are breaking point because of years of Government underfunding designed to allow tax cuts, but which are now seeing doctors fees increased and services cut instead.
Adrian Orr may signal a resumption of rate hikes next Friday, which would fly in the face of the Government’s talk about reducing the cost of living and cutting mortgage rates.
A state of emergency has been declared for a coastal town in Southland that is being eroded by rising sea levels linked to climate change, but the Government still has no Climate Adaptation Act in place.
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