By Todd Muller
The Government promised 2019 would be a year of delivery but this is yet to ring true for Tauranga. Sadly, our growing city has once again been overlooked for the much-needed investment in infrastructure that we so badly need to support our population.
The fact that they could find a billion dollars for KiwiRail but nothing to decongest our city, nothing for State Highway 2, nothing for a new secondary school and nothing for improved health facilities tells a damning tale.
They may not be spending any money on our local motorists, but they sure seem to love taking it from us. One of the first laws the government passed over the weekend, under urgency, implemented the second of three annual increases in fuel tax - adding another 3.5 cents per litre to the cost of a litre of petrol.
The increase kicks in on July 1, the same day as road-user charges also increase and comes at a time when prices at the pump are already starting to creep back up. Fuel costs are a huge part of any family’s budget and sadly this simply places a huge burden on local families and drives up the already high cost of living.
No, it isn’t all doom and gloom – there are elements of this Budget that I wholeheartedly welcome, such as an increased focus on mental health. That being said, it is important to keep sight of the fact that success is not measured by the dollars spent but by the lives impacted.