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Rates freeze sets the bar for Auckland mayoral candidates

The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance is welcoming John Tamihere’s commitment to a three-year rates freeze, and says spending cuts are achievable.

Ratepayers’ Alliance spokesperson Jo Holmes says, “Aucklanders will be relieved to see a bold rates policy that offers a clear alternative to the high-cost status quo that has dominated politics in the Super City. Every other candidate, including Phil Goff, now needs to clearly explain their own rates policy so we can see how they stack up.”

“It’s true that this policy will require spending cuts, but that’s not a bad thing. In fact, a leaner, more focused Council has been long overdue. Phil Goff is focusing on the potential cuts to infrastructure projects, however savings can been made without touching capital expenditure at all. The real waste at Auckland Council comes from operational, day-to-day spending. For starters, there are literally thousands of Council staff earning over $100,000.”

“Finally, unless there are new charges he’s not telling us about, Tamihere’s new policy qualifies him to sign our Ratepayer Protection Pledge. Once he does, we’ll consider his policy official – and we’ll also be ensuring he stick to his guns should he be elected.”

The Ratepayers Protection Pledge, launched last Friday, asks candidates to commit to rate and tax hikes of no more than 2% per annum. The Alliance will issue an update of who has signed the pledge shortly.

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