WIN FOR NORTHERN RIVERS PENSIONERS: PENSIONER BOOKING TAX AXED

WIN FOR NORTHERN RIVERS PENSIONERS: PENSIONER BOOKING TAX AXED

11 June 2009

The Member for Lismore, Thomas George MP, today welcomed news the Rees Labor Government was adopting the NSW Liberal/Nationals’ policy to scrap the pensioner booking tax.

“The Rees Labor Government deserves no credit for this back flip – Labor should have never introduced the pensioner booking tax in the first place,” Mr George said.

“The NSW Liberal/Nationals have been fighting for the abolition of the CountryLink Booking Tax since it was introduced by Labor in 2006.”

“Today’s news is a win for people in The Northern Rivers and surrounding regions, but it is also a victory for all who have fought long and hard to get rid of the unfair booking tax.”

“It’s a massive back flip from this out of touch Labor Government who voted against a NSW Liberal/Nationals bill to abolish the tax twice – most recently last month. The CountryLink Booking Tax should have never been introduced in the first place.”

“For over three years pensioners using CountryLink services were forced to pay $10 or 15% of the full adult fare, whichever was the highest, when using ‘free’ travel vouchers to book CountryLink services.”

Shadow Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian said Labor shouldn’t have ever imposed the tax.

“Since the Labor Government introduced the tax it has reaped nearly $10 million from pensioners and patronage has continued to decline,” she said.

“According to the latest figures obtained from the CountryLink website, country trains regularly fail to meet the Rees Labor Government’s own on-time running target.

“Poor patronage and on-time running figures highlight the Rees Labor Government’s continuing neglect of rail services in rural and regional NSW.”

“Under NSW Labor, eleven CountryLink travel centres have been shut down, fares have increased, pensioners have been hit with an unfair booking tax and the Casino to Murwillumbah rail line was closed,” Mrs Berejiklian said.

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Murwillumbah Contact Details:

Telephone: 02 6672 7577