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Council set long-term budget priorities

Auckland City Council
Media release

7 October 2008

Council set long-term budget priorities

Councillors met today to look at the city's budget for the next 10 years.

They voted to keep rates increases for the next 10 years to the council's rate of inflation. Councillors also agreed the strategic direction and priorities for the next 10 years. Officers will now use those decisions to put together budgets within council's cost of inflation for the 2009-2019 period.

Councillor Douglas Armstrong, chairperson of the Finance and Strategy Committee, says, "Auckland City Council is committed to affordable progress for Auckland over the next 10 years.

"We know that times are difficult for people and we empathise with those who are struggling with their family budget and petrol and utility costs.

"To ensure, in this difficult current financial climate, families can afford to live in Auckland and pay their rates, we agreed to hold future rates increases to the level of inflation at the direction setting meeting today.

"Like most families, we have to examine our budget and our spending, and prioritise the list of projects we want to do over the next 10 years based on the reality of finding the money to fund them and the impact they will have on creating the kind of city people want Auckland to be in the future.

"Our ratepayers have told us to take a hard, fresh look at the budget to assess what we can fund in this economic climate.

"We need to cut some of that planned spending on things that are not essential.

"To keep rates increases to the level of inflation means that we may need to delay certain projects, or pare them back compared to what was planned for the next 10 years while still continuing with the day-to-day, regular works and essential services that it provides now.

"In addition, we need to find savings and efficiencies and we need to make our assets work better for us.

"We are committed to making sure we do the right things today with a view to the kind of city Aucklanders want in the future."

Councillors will meet on 18 November to discuss the proposed capital expenditure programme.

ENDS

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