INDEPENDENT NEWS

Petition reflects fears of rates hikes

Published: Thu 17 Oct 2002 12:26 AM
Petition reflects fears of rates hikes
A petition tabled in Parliament yesterday by United Future Leader Peter Dunne reflects a fear of higher rates increases, says the Local Government Forum*.
Forum Chairman Rob McLagan says the petition, asking Parliament to halt the proceedings of the Local Government Bill, drew more than 5,500 signatures in a very short time from numerous sectors of the community including pensioners, those on fixed incomes and small businesses.
“This reflects a deep unease that the Bill will result in an even higher rates burden.”
“The Bill would give councils a free rein to get involved in a huge range of schemes that would be paid for by rates. The Bill’s ‘power of general competence’, along with lessened accountability provisions means local body politicians could stand for office promoting schemes that could have popular appeal but which could cost their regions millions.
Mr McLagan said the Government had failed to adequately consult ratepayers on the proposals contained in this Bill, and wider advice was called for.
“Assurances by the United Future Leader to push for proper consultation on this Bill are heartening,” Mr McLagan said.

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