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Rates increases require action

13 June 2006

Rates increases require action

Looming rates rises show the need for local body reform, according to Business NZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly.

Mr O’Reilly was commenting on an analysis by Federated Farmers of 83 local body plans that forecast rates increases of 7-8% over each of the next three years.

“These increases are well in excess of both inflation and population growth and are coming at a time when the economy is going to be much weaker than it has been over recent years,” said Mr O’Reilly.

“Councils blame the rates increases on central government imposing new responsibilities. Another issue is the widened powers given to local bodies within the last three years through changes to the Local Government Act.

“Both central and local government have a role to play in helping local authorities focus more clearly on their core services only.

“Business NZ supports changes to the Local Government Act to help restrain local government spending and keep rates rises from escalating.”

ENDS

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