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

 

Minister rejects many Rate Inquiry recommendations

Media release 31 July 2008

Local Government Minister rejects many Rates Inquiry recommendations.

Local Government Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, has advised me that the Government has rejected several key recommendations of the Rates Inquiry which reported almost exactly one year ago.

In a letter to me the Minister advised that there will be no implementation of the Rates Inquiry recommendations that the Government should establish three new sources of funding to relieve the pressure on council rates.

The Government will not be introducing an International Visitors Environmental Level – nor will it proceed with a recommended 2c per litre increase in the Local Authority Petroleum Tax.

The recommendation that an Infrastructure Equalisation Fund be established - funded by a share of GST – has been effectively shelved until after the general election.

The Minister also advised that the Government will not be implementing a recommendation that an independent unit be established to review council’s financial.

This decision comes at the same time that the Auditor-General has blasted the financial reporting by councils which currently fail to adequately explain to ratepayers how their money is being spent.

In a letter to mayors the Minister also revealed that decisions were due for release in July on several other key recommendations which, if implemented, would also relieve the burden on ratepayers –particularly residential ratepayers.

These recommendations include the general use of volumetric charging for wastewater, removing rating differentials and the uniform annual general charge, and removing exemptions from rates for Crown-owned property.

The Minister also advised that the Rates Rebate scheme would not, ‘at this time’ be extended to include retirement village residents.

In sum total, a year after the report was presented to Government, ratepayers will see very little relief from the Rates Inquiry recommendations.

This is a very disappointing result, especially for those on low and fixed incomes.

The Government’s decision not to establish an independent watchdog to review councils’ financial decisions is a major disappointment for all ratepayers.

Such a unit would have been an immediate avenue for ratepayers to challenge spending decisions – an issue which has been a major cause of unrest among ratepayers for many years.

Ratepayers will see little value for the input they provided to the Rates Inquiry.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On DHB Deficits And Free Trade

Currently the world is looking on aghast at the Trump administration’s plans to slash Obamacare, mainly in order to finance massive tax changes that will deliver most of their gains to the wealthy. Lives will be lost in the trade-off. Millions of Americans stand to lose access to the healthcare they need.

Spot the difference with New Zealand, where DHBs are under intense pressure to reduce deficits within a climate of chronic underfunding. More>>

 
 

Greens' Response: Slum-Like Rentals Exposed In Renting Review

“...The grim findings of the review are a wakeup call about the true state of rentals in this country. Too many renters are festering in slum-like conditions under the thumb of landlords who have largely unchecked powers and ignore tenants’ complaints when it suits them.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>

ALSO:

Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>

ALSO:

Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election