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“The Government are shooting us in the foot” – that's the call from North Otago transport companies speaking with Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean.

“I have been in contact with rural livestock transport companies throughout the Waitaki who have expressed frustration and concern at the ever-increasing road user charges and fluctuating fuel prices.

“From July 1 people will be paying 3.5 cents more per litre at the pump, while Road User Charges will also be increased by an average 5.5 percent. Let’s not forget the Government already increased petrol excise duty by 3.5 cents per litre in September last year.

"Transport companies tell me that they fell they're at at the mercy of the Government, with road user charges continually increasing, a cost which they are forced to pass onto their clients – Waitaki farmers.

“Transport businesses say it’s been a tense 18-months and they're worried things will only get worse with clients questioning the price rises that they are forced to pass on.

"Further concerns are being expressed over the proposal to lower the speed limit, with transport companies saying it will simply add further costs through efficiency declines, while potentially increasing accidents with inpatient drivers passing in dangerous areas.

“This is yet another example of this short-sighted Government putting the boot into rural New Zealand, effectively charging them twice, once at the pump then again by paying more for produce or freight costs."

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