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ARC Proposed Rates Increase Unacceptable

28 February 2006

ARC Proposed Rates Increase Unacceptable.

Pay Increase For Arc Members Unjustifiable.

The proposal by the Auckland Regional Council to increase rates by almost 5% is unacceptable.

This increase is largely to fund public transport, especially rail.

But rail passengers make up only a small percentage of total public passenger transport - indeed it seems from recent figures that a small increase in rail passenger numbers has been achieved only by switching their mode of transport from bus to train.

Instead of pushing up rates every year the ARC, and other councils, should demand that the Government funds additional transport expenditure out of the huge surpluses the Government is accumulating on a regular basis.

At the same time as foreshadowing this latest rate increase the ARC has also voted its members another pay rise.

To do so at this time is not only insensitive, it is unjustifiable.

The ratepayers of the Auckland Region can have no confidence in a regional council that has not learned the lessons from the Rates Rebellion of 2003/4.

Ratepayers can only take so much - and that limit was reached long ago.

It is time elected councillors listened to the voice of those who pay their wages.

ENDS


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