Act proposes peak traffic driving taxes


Taxing people for driving at peak times is the solution to reducing emissions according to the Act Party. 

At their annual conference, Act Leader David Seymour announced the policy to the party faithful, saying petrol tax should be scrapped in favour of "time sensitive road user charges".

Petrol taxes were only enough to control usage rather than tackling congestion, he said. 

"It's nuts. It's like saying that if you buy jet fuel you can get on any plane, any time of day, any time of year. Of course airlines don't price like that; they vary fares to manage demand," Mr Seymour said. 

Without that model, congsetion is almost certain, he said. 

"There would be chaos and congestion half the time and empty airports the rest of the time. That's exactly what happens on our roads."

Stockholm has implemented a similar policy making it more expensive to drive at peak hour and cheaper to drive off peak. 

"They are reducing emissions by reducing congestion and stop/start traffic."

The MP for Epsom admitted there are likely problems with privacy, and as part of the policy there's a clause to make "a serious effort to solve the technical problems and implement it as rapidly as possible".

"The reality is that Vodafone and Apple know I'm here and where I've been all day. Why can't the Government, that owns roads, find a way to charge me for road use?"

Mr Seymour is selling himself as an environmentalist, and also took his speech as an opportunity to degrade the Greens for extensive air travel. 

"Last quarter Green MPs spent more of air travel than New Zealand First MPs -- more than National MPs, and a smidgen less than Labour MPs."

For that the Greens earned the title of "hypocritical" when it came to their environmental movement.