Monday, June 30, 2014

National's "big plan"

So, National has revealed its "big plan" for the election: spending the money made by selling stolen state assets on roading projects in National or National-targeted electorates:

National is defending a new $212 million road transport package, saying the party is not trying to buy votes in the regions.

Prime Minister John Key announced plans to use cash from the sale of state-owned assets to upgrade 14 roads across the country.

Two of the projects would benefit Labour-held electorates - Palmerston North and West Coast Tasman - which National are targeting. But a number also fall in safe National seats, such as Taranaki and Clutha-Southland.

[That story is incorrect; the Whirokino Trestle Bridge is in the Otaki electorate; West Coast-Tasman is an obvious National target which they hope to win back]

So, they're basically stealing from everyone to provide pork to their supporters. In the process, they're wasting money by replacing bridges upgraded this year. But while the apparent target is National voters, the real beneficiary is National's donors in the trucking industry: as TransportBlog points out, the projects are primarily focused on upgrading bridges to take the super-heavy trucks National has allowed on our roads.

In the 2011 election campaign, the Road transport Forum (the trucking lobby) gave $30,000 to the National Party and $5,000 each to Bill English, Judith Collins, Joanne Goodhew, Todd McClay, and Phil Heatley. I guess they got what they paid for.