Treasury warns yet again that LGWM risk must be addressed

Treasury warns yet again that LGWM risk must be addressed

Budget 2022 delivers disappointing news for Wellington’s much-needed transport infrastructure needs says the Wellington Chamber of Commerce. Even worse, it’s exactly the same as last year.

"Yet again, Treasury’s Budget Economic and Fiscal Update warns that the Let’s Get Wellington Moving (LGWM) programme ‘is expected to cost significantly more than previously estimated, increasing the risk that it may not be delivered in full’," said Simon Arcus, Wellington Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive.

"This is the second year Treasury has flagged this as an ongoing risk. They’ve also said that they ‘expect it to cost significantly more than previously estimated and that Government may have to pick up more of the costs due to local government's ‘competing funding priorities.’

"While this is unsurprising, you have to ask why this has not been addressed over the past 12 months, given how significant and strategic LGWM is for the Wellington Region.

"Just this morning we heard from Minister Wood at a Wellington business forum, where he reinforced the current funding split - but the elephant in the room remains how?

"The Chamber has consistently maintained that the LGWM funding split between Central and Local Government is a raw deal for the city, with Central Government not taking on their fair share of the costs.

"Wellington businesses already pay significant amounts to fund Wellington’s transport network - a business multiplier of seven, which totals just over 39 per cent of the transport rates funding for the entire region. For some businesses, this is over 85 per cent of their total regional rates bill, running into the tens of thousands. There’s no way you can place further pressure on these businesses to pay for even more.

"As we said last year, we urge both Central and Local Government to urgently address these funding concerns to ensure this critical infrastructure programme is delivered in full."

Contact: Holly Cotter

Phone: +64 21 242 7677

Email: holly.cotter@businesscentral.org.nz