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One promise to break them all

One promise to break them all

"Len Brown's black budget signals a dark future ahead for the communities of Auckland," says John Palino.

"Congestion is set to get radically worse in Auckland as the Mayor throws out essential arterial investments delivering real transport benefits so that he can maintain his obsession with the City Rail Link which will have no discernible impact on traffic flows until the 2030s.

"The CRL's $2.5 billion price tag will only get another 13,000 people into the CBD in 2041. That's one lane of a motorway and little more than 10 per cent of even today's total CBD workers.

"Compare that with the $40 million spent on Glenfield Road improving access for 33,000 vehicles a day or the $50 million to be spent on Dominion Rd improving bus and car access for 25,000 vehicles a day.

"Future projects like these will be canned and the benefit cost returns they deliver - often as high as $4 for every dollar spent - forgone so that the CRL can be built. Far from providing a return on investment, the CRL will deliver a net loss of 60 cents for each dollar invested.

"Worse still, the Mayor will borrow a billion dollars this year in a cynical attempt to keep rates increases below 2.5 per cent, while pushing the responsibility of future funding onto the next Council and saddling them with projected rates twice the level of inflation. On top of that, the Mayor will be back in front of residents a few weeks from now saying he needs another tax to pay for the projects he's just dumped.

"What he should be doing is reviewing Council processes and staff numbers, prioritising transport projects which deliver actual benefits, releasing land to bring down housing costs and abandoning the $32 million water park in Manukau.

"The Mayor is breaking his promise to control what is rapidly approaching a staggering $5000 debt for every resident in the region and has all but broken his promise to keep rates below 2.5 per cent. He's breaking his promise to address Auckland's transport issues and his policies have left Auckland with some of the least affordable housing in the world.

"Well at least 13,000 CBD workers in 2041 haven't been betrayed," Palino said.

ends

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