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PM Must Listen To Ratepayers


PM Must Listen To Ratepayers

ACT Finance Spokesman Rodney Hide said today that Prime Minister Helen Clark can't sit on the rate revolt sideline. "She is the Prime Minister. She has to listen to the hardship and heartache that spiralling rates are causing working families and pensioners. Her silence to date has been deafening.

"It's time that Prime Minister Helen Clark had a care. It's time that she dropped her "Let them eat cake" attitude.

"Rate rises have been double the rate of inflation over the last four years. Rates are proving a crushing burden on working families and pensioners.

"And it's not just Aucklanders who are suffering. I have had the Parliamentary Library prepare a report on rate rises for the year ahead. The list is not yet complete. It is based on annual plans, draft annual plans and news reports. The figures are not all final. But what Councils are planning is truly shocking.

"The Banks Peninsula District Council is planning an increase of 16.6 percent, the Franklin District Council 16.1 percent, the Marlborough District Council 11.6 percent, the Ashburton District Council 10.3 percent - and, of course, - the Auckland Regional Council leading the way with a whopping 34 percent increase.

"Ratepayers need protection from big spending city councils. Local governments are pillaging ratepayers. These big spending councils make the Sheriff of Nottingham look frugal and just.

"It's time Prime Minister Helen Clark and her MPs listened to what ratepayers have to say. She should support my Local Government (Rating Cap) Amendment Bill at least to Select Committee and give the public a chance to have their say.

"My Bill seeks to limit local government excesses and provide ratepayers some relief from the crippling demands of their local council. The Bill caps rate increases in any year to consumer price inflation for the preceding year, plus two percent. The maximum in any three-year period is set to the rate of consumer price inflation for the preceding three years plus four percent. It provides for the Minister of Local Government to grant dispensations, in special circumstances, with any such dispensations to be notified in the gazette along with accompanying reasons.

"The National Party have said they will support my Bill to Select Committee. It's time the Prime Minister had a heart and pledged the Labour Party's support of my Bill at least to Select Committee so that the public can have their say," Mr Hide said.

DISTRICT AND REGIONAL COUNCIL RATES INCREASES 2002/03 TO 2003/04

TLA

Total income from rates 2003/04 ($000)

Change (%)

Northland Regional Council

Far North DC

2.00

Whangarei DC

6.00

Kaipara DC

11,544

3.90

Auckland Regional Council

104,122

34.00

Rodney DC

59,800

3.60

North Shore CC

4.65

Waitakere CC

89,900

4.80

Auckland CC

2.50

Manukau CC

Papakura CC

7.60

Franklin DC

16.10

Environment BOP (Bay of Plenty)

Tauranga DC

47,844

2.20

Western Bay of Plenty DC

Rotorua DC

45,300

3.30

Whakatane DC

Kawerau DC

Opotiki DC

Environment Waikato

8.59

Hamilton CC

70,400

6.72

Waikato DC

Waipa DC

21,820

3.90

Otorohanga DC

7,088

3.40

Waitomo DC

6,648

0.00

Thames-Coromandel DC

34,024

4.22

Hauraki DC

18,848

6.00

Matamata-Piako DC

16,652

South Waikato DC

9,630

5.75

Taupo DC

26,082

4.67

Taranaki Regional Council

New Plymouth DC

Stratford DC

5,377

4.95

South Taranaki DC

3.90

Hawke's Bay Regional Council

Wairoa DC

0.50

Napier DC

31,900

4.61

Hastings DC

82,121

3.24

Central Hawke's Bay DC

9,027

7.37

Horizons.mw (Manawatu)

Tararua DC

11,644

4.96

Horowhenua DC

13,474

Palmerston North CC

40,305

5.20

Manawatu DC

15,500

7.90

Rangitikei DC

21,820

4.83

Wanganui DC

Ruapehu DC

Wellington Regional Council

3.70

Wellington CC

149,269

1.75

Porirua CC

30,173

7.34

Kapiti Coast DC

27,208

6.84

Hutt City Council

3.30

Upper Hutt CC

Masterton DC

Carterton DC

South Wairarapa DC

4.81

Environment Canterbury

22,600

6.72

Kaikoura DC

Hurunui DC

813676

5.20

Waimakiriri DC

18,911

8.80

Selwyn DC

0.00

Christchurch CC

171,074

3.09

Banks Peninsula DC

8,351

16.64

Ashburton DC

10,829

10.30

Timaru DC

21

4.64

Mackenzie DC

Waimate DC

4,308

-2.50

West Coast Regional Council

Buller DC

Grey DC

Westland DC

Otago Regional Council

0.90

Waitaki DC

Central Otago DC

11,152

3.90

Queenstown Lakes DC

2,675

6.85

Dunedin CC

66,576

Clutha DC

Environment Southland

6,188

1.50

Invercargill CC

25,419

4.86

Gore DC

767

9.78

Southland DC

20,613

6.23

Gisborne DC*

Nelson CC*

22,252

8.40

Marlborough DC*

31.194

11.61

Tasman DC*

26,134

* Unitary Authority Comments Auckland Regional Council: 83 percent of increase is for transport Rodney DC: Includes 2.6% inflation, excludes increase for new development Waitakere DC: Includes levies Manukau DC: Excludes development levies Thames Coromandel DC: Includes bag charges Hauraki DC: Increase is for capital value rate only Wairoa DC: Adopted. Ranges from small decrease to 20% increase Rangitikei DC: Adopted Wellington CC: Excludes user charges Hutt CC: Adopted South Wairarapa DC: Adopted Hurunui DC: Excludes targetted rates Selwyn DC: User-charges will increase Christchurch CC: Includes targetted rates Banks Peninsula DC: Includes targetted rates Waimate DC: Includes targetted rates Otago CC: Adopted Nelson CC: 13.28 including user charges and levies

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