SuperCard Scheme Cuts?


The Grey Power lobby group and Labour have today speculated that cuts are on the way for the SuperGold card scheme which gives those over 65 years transport concessions.

This especially follows a Dunedin newspaper report that the Transport Ministry has told the Otago Regional Council it wants to cut the SuperGold Card bus subsidy from 75% of the adult fare to 65%.

A Grey Power spokesperson says it believes the government is proposing a 10% cut to their subsidy of this scheme,” assumedly because the scheme is being so well utilised.

“Surely this tells Government that there is a very real need for the scheme since it is so successful. On the other hand, it is reported that Dunedin bus operators are saying that collectively they could face a six-figure loss if they have to cover the extra 10%.

“One operator said that they might have to charge travellers a top-up of possibly 20% to meet the shortfall while another is suggesting that they may consider leaving the scheme entirely. If Dunedin bus companies foresee that a 10% reduction in the subsidy could produce a six-figure loss, then Grey Power wonders what they are making from this scheme currently.”

She said that her group didn’t believe it’s rocket science to continue with a successful scheme that has off-peak buses running with passengers rather than empty.

Labour transport spokesperson Darren Hughes, said that six months after the prime minister promised that the scheme would not be cut back, the transport ministry “no doubt acting on (transport minister) Mr Joyce’s instructions, is trying to back the Otago Regional Council into a corner where it is forced to try to screw more funding from bus companies.

“Otago Regional Council is not making this up. Nor is the newspaper making it up. Nor is the ministry making it up. Grey Power knows that, and that’s why it smells treachery.”





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