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Cullen Being Unreasonable

16 May 2006

Cullen Being Unreasonable To Expect Ratepayers To Keep Paying For Traffic Woes.

Michael Cullen's comments today that a 5% cap on ARC rates is 'unrealistic' is a body blow to hopes, by ratepayers and local councils, that Government would provide additional funding to help solve Auckland's traffic congestion problems.

Dr Cullen is being totally unrealistic, and unreasonable, if he expects ratepayers to continue to meet the costs of traffic congestion from local rates which are based on the estimated value of their property.

Indeed the governor of the Reserve Bank, Dr Bollard, has repeatedly warned of the inflationary effect continuous rise in council rates.

Dr Cullen has amassed billions of additional tax dollars over the last few years and central government can well afford to pay the extra costs needed to provide an efficient and effective public transport system.

The government can also implement urgent measures to build the Western ring route with funding by way of loans which would be repaid by tolls.

Dr Cullen could also give relief to ratepayers by removing GST from rates.

And local councils and the ARC need to get their act together and agree to implement measures already identified as essential - such as a vastly improved bus transport network, and agreement on some form of congestion tax.

ENDS

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