Security Cameras lift taxi safety

I hope you and your family had a very happy festive season. The great New Zealand summer is a chance for us all to reflect on the past year, and recharge for a successful 2011.

The National-led Government has been busy since the 2008 election.

We have had a wide-ranging six-point economic programme to get faster growth and create higher-paying jobs, and wean the economy off borrowing, consumption, and government spending.

Our first challenge was to get through the recession in reasonable shape and turn around the appalling forecasts we inherited – never-ending deficits and ever-increasing debt.

We have done that. And we have maintained Superannuation, Working For Families, and Benefits.

The next step has been building policies to encourage savings, investment and exports. For example, our tax-cut package, our ambitious infrastructure programme, and better frontline public services.

Our six-point plan for faster economic growth is important for our Indian communities, especially small business owners, self-employed people, and their families.

This year’s Budget will outline the next steps in our programme to lift economic growth, with a focus on boosting national savings and reducing the country’s reliance on foreign debt.

On another note, I am pleased to tell you that just before Christmas, Transport Minister Steven Joyce confirmed new rules for the safety of taxi drivers and their passengers. From August 1 this year, all taxis operating in our larger centres will be fitted with security cameras.

The new rules will also give taxi drivers around-the-clock telecommunications support, in case of an emergency.

Sadly, the safety situation for taxi drivers has changed in recent times and these measures are necessary. Minister Steven Joyce and National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi met with industry representatives to discuss this issue, and they were told how many taxi drivers, particularly those working at night in our main centres, no longer enjoy safe working environments.

The National-led Government has worked hard to put these new rules in place quickly. While there is no measure that can make drivers entirely safe, evidence and overseas experience shows these measures can seriously reduce the risks.

2011 will be another busy year for National. We are focused on the issues that matter to you – the economy, law and order, health, and education.

We will keep working to secure a brighter future for you and your family.

John Key is Prime Minister of New Zealand. The above article is exclusive to Indian Newslink ©

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