Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Bleak Future for Council Ratepayers

GLENFIELD RATEPAYERS & RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION
Chairman; David Thornton
email; david@kandu.co.nz


27 September 2005

BACKGROUNDER ON CURRENT COUNCIL RATES ISSUES

These notes are intended for concerned ratepayers and the media and follow the news of the jailing of two pensioners in England for withholding part pf their council tax – the UK equivalent of NZ council rates.

Ratepayers’ comments are invited by email and I will be happy to respond to media inquiries.

David Thornton.


BLEAK FUTURE FOR COUNCIL RATEPAYERS

A woman pensioner has been jailed in the UK for failing to pay part of her council tax.

Another pensioner – a 71-year-old retired vicar, is already in jail for withholding part of his council tax.

Recently the Auckland Regional Council has been sending out letters demanding payment of outstanding regional rates within 14 days.

These letters have prompted several phone calls to me from Auckland ratepayers who are still withholding some of their ARC rates –some dating back to the year of the ‘ratepayers rebellion’ 2003/4.

Some people are still not willing to pay and I have pointed out to them that non-payment could eventually see them ending up in jail.

I have just received an unpublished Treasury report which was initiated by Cabinet direction as a result of the rates revolt of 2 years ago.

I had hoped that this report, obtained under the Official Information Act, would show that the government was seriously looking at alternative to rates as funding methods for local bodies.

I was disappointed – that task has been assigned to a joint committee of local and central government bureaucrats who are due to report in December.

The Treasury report drew the conclusion that council rates were ‘affordable’ at present and would continue to be affordable in the foreseeable future!

People on low and fixed income will find such comments hd to believe.
Incredibly the Treasury conclusion on ‘affordability’in based on the ‘growth in GDP’!!!!

My incredulity drove me to seek a definition of GDP –and this is the most accurate I found in an economic dictionary;-

Definition: The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) represents the total value of the goods and services produced by an economy over some unit of time (a month, a season, a year etc.). The "Domestic" part of the name comes from the fact, unlike GNP, it does not consider imports or exports in the calculation.

To the average ratepayer a suggestion that his rates are affordable relative to the GDP is totally laughable.

It became obvious to me that Treasury had taken a purely global economic view which had no relevance at all to an individual’s ability to pay rates.

In fairness Treasury did point out that ‘some subgroups may face genuine hardship in meeting their rates obligations’.

On the question of affordability Treasury passed that buck to central and local government officials to come up with solutions.

The first report from that group emerged in July – and is not hopeful.

It paints a picture of gloom for many councils as they face the problem of how to afford infrastructure development while keeping rates at an acceptable level.

All this means there is real urgency is finding alternatives to rates.

If not – how long will it be before New Zealanders will join the British cousins in the debtors’ jails?

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election