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Qualified support for Rodney Hide's rates Bill


Gerry Brownlee MP National Party Local Government Spokesman

01 August 2003

Qualified support for Rodney Hide's rates Bill

The National Party is supporting ACT MP Rodney Hide's private members Bill to limit rates increases.

"We would support Mr Hide's initiative being sent to select committee for further consideration, but believe it requires further fine-tuning," says National Party Local Government spokesman Gerry Brownlee.

"The National Party believes out of control rates demands have reached a point where they now need to be discussed and considered by central Government.

"It's a timely opportunity to expose just how many new obligations and responsibilities the Labour Government has fobbed off on to local authorities.

"There's been an increasing tendency for central Government to devolve responsibility to our local councils, without handing over the cheque book as well," Mr Brownlee says.

"Rates are nothing less than a tax on property rights.

"And the situation is unlikely to get any better under the Local Government Act, which was rushed through Parliament just before Christmas.

"That new piece of legislation condemns Councils throughout New Zealand to a whole new raft of consultative obligations.

"The cost of these new responsibilities keeps mounting and that'll end up hitting ratepayers even harder in the future," Mr Brownlee says.

Ends

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