City Bailout: So Much For ‘well-managed’ Council Finances

Published: Fri 14 Aug 2020 12:30 PM
The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance is alarmed that Auckland Council is in such dire straits the Mayor is now in the media calling on Wellington to bail the Council out. Spokesperson Jo Holmes said:
“We’re only three days into lockdown, just four weeks after the Mayor’s emergency budget, and the Mayor is now saying the Council needs a bailout.”
“This crisis isn’t COVID, it’s the total failure of the Mayor to get spending or debt under control. While the Mayor has claimed all along that the Council’s finances were ‘well-managed’ going into this crisis, the truth is now coming out. On a per person basis, the Council has the highest debt in the country.”
“Despite all the rhetoric about job losses and cutting back, last month’s so-called ‘emergency budget’ actually increased operating expenditure year on year by nearly 5 percent. The Mayor has basically brought this budget crisis on himself.”
“Asking for a bailout while expanding the Council’s empire is laughable. The Councillors need to recall the budget, force officials to live within last year’s budgeted amounts, and only then can we assess whether extra money is needed.”

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