INDEPENDENT NEWS

Labour's Crocodile Tears For Ratepayers Don't Wash

Published: Fri 12 Nov 2004 04:18 PM
Labour's Crocodile Tears For Ratepayers Don't Wash
Friday 12 Nov 2004
Ken Shirley - Press Releases - Local Government
The Labour Government's pronouncement that local body rating will be reviewed to "make it fairer" is a sad joke, ACT New Zealand Local Government Spokesman Hon Ken Shirley said today.
"Labour needs to take responsibility for the extra costs it has loaded on to ratepayers. The new Local Government Act and wider responsibilities have helped push local council rates income up by 25 percent in four years - more than double the rate of inflation," Mr Shirley said.
"The Government is feigning concern for rural and elderly ratepayers. It's ridiculous that after being directly responsible for the escalating costs ratepayers are facing, the Government now says it wants to make the system fairer.
"It would be fairer to reduce the total costs ratepayers are faced with. Reshuffling relative burdens will only help some at the expense of others, meaning many ratepayers are in line for even greater increases.
"Labour could start by reversing some of the extra roles and duties it has foisted on to local councils. Many of these are small councils and are incurring huge costs in struggling to cope.
"A further option would be a local council equivalent of the Fiscal Responsibility Act. It is simply not acceptable that council rates should increase at double the rate of inflation," Mr Shirley said.
ENDS

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