Phil Twyford takes mean and petty to a whole new level

The Government is refusing to refund Road User Charges for truckies helping farmers in the aftermath of the Tasman fires.

The Nelson Fires Hay Convoy has been organising hundreds of bales of

hay for fire-affected farms – and paying for it out of their own pockets.

Around 236 tonnes of donated hay has come up from Canterbury over the past seven days and without it, farmers say they would be stuffed.

Trucking companies, farmers, drivers have all donated time, money and hay to enough feed to Nelson [sic] – and it doesn’t come cheap.

The running costs for a week’s worth of transportation is estimated at up to $100,000. And there is still weeks’ worth more needed.

National wants companies taking part to have their Road User Charges refunded as an act of goodwill.

The Opposition believes around $18,000-worth of charges have been clocked up from companies volunteering help.

It’s a really small cost for the Government in what is essentially foregone revenue to them, but it would mean a lot to the guys undertaking what is essentially a mercy mission,” says MP Andrew Falloon.

newshub end quote.

Phil, $18,000 is chump change for the government, but it’s a lot of money for those who have already volunteered time and provided vehicles, not to mention the fuel for the trip.

It seems we have plenty of money for the Pacific Islands, millions in fact, but not even a waiver of tax for a very small group of people doing a good deed to help out fellow Kiwis. quote.

But Transport Minister Phil Twyford says this isn’t possible, and the Government has already injected $100,000 to help with relief. end quote.

Wow Phil, $100,000 for all of the Nelson people affected by the fires. Last of the big spenders. It’s a piffling amount of money that is downright insulting, especially given Labour’s largesse when it suits. I remember there was a $65,000 catering bill for the justice summit, but no, Labour can’t afford $18,000 as a gesture of goodwill and thanks for the hours of volunteered time and out-of-pocket expenses donated by farmers. quote.

Mr Twyford says people can instead apply for hardship support through the Ministry of Primary Industries, Work and Income or the Mayoral Relief Fund. end quote.

Great idea, make these guys go cap in hand to the government and tie them up in red tape and bureaucracy. Nice way to show your appreciation.