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Infratil/NZ Bus Rakes In Subsidies But Locks Out Auckland Commuters

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Infratil/NZ Bus Rakes In Subsidies But Locks Out Auckland Commuters

The combined bus unions say the commuters Infratil/NZ Bus is locking out are subsidising the company in at least three ways.

Union spokesperson Karl Andersen says if it weren't for working for families tax credits and the accommodation benefit bus drivers employed by Infratil/NZ Bus would be unable to survive.

"An experienced driver on the top rate takes home $544 a week. The rent for a modest home in a working class suburb like Mangere is $390 a week, more than two thirds of a drivers pay," he says.

"When you add in the skyrocketing price of food, power, transport and other necessities there is just not enough money to go around."

"Infratil/NZ Bus gets $88 million in transport subsidies, their drivers are paid so little they depend on working for families tax credits and many qualify for accommodation benefits as well. These are effectively Government subsidies to allow the company to get away with not paying a living wage.

"On top of this they collect the fares which are not cheap.

"This company must be setting new records for having its snout in the public trough.

"It is repaying the taxpayers who are funding it so generously by stopping services they rely on to get to work because drivers have the temerity to ask for enough pay to live on."

Mr Andersen says Infratil has a number of poorly performing investments in European airport companies.

"We need to ask whether the massive subsidies paid by New Zealanders and the cheap wages of the drivers are being used to prop up ailing overseas arms of this multinational company."

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