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Tizard's Tirade Rates Pensioner

Tizard's Tirade Rates Pensioner

Auckland Issues Minister Judith Tizard exemplifies this Labour Government's arrogant attitude towards Auckland ratepayers, particularly superannuitants, Auckland-based ACT New Zealand MP Deborah Coddington said today.

"Today I spoke with Mrs Janie Farquharson - an 88-year-old widow who has lived in her Takapuna home for the past 64 years, and who last week spoke publicly about her horrific rates: a combined annual bill of $8,589," Miss Coddington said.

"Her reaction to Ms Tizard's comment in Parliament yesterday, that Aucklanders who couldn't pay should move, was, `I'll be carried out feet first'.

"Today Ms Tizard said, `There is nothing this Government can do when we are addressing Auckland's infastructure needs'.

"This offers no comfort to retired people like Mrs Farquharson. She complained to the North Shore City Council about her rates climbing from $5,877 last year to $6,587 this year, and was told not to worry if she couldn't pay - the Council would debit the rates against her property and add interest.

"Mrs Farquharson said that she may turn 89 in September, but quickly realised that this option is, in effect, mortgaging her house to the Council, who would soon own her property.

"Ms Tizard offered little sympathy for her plight in the House today when she said, `I think Mrs Farquharson and others like her have many more choices than some other people who live in Auckland'.

"Mrs Farquharson pays around $2,000 of her rates to fund public transport. She drives her own car and told me she'd never use rail - even in the unlikely event the North Shore gets a rail system - because it is not safe and she would be `pushed off the platform'.

"Under the Local Government Act 2002, Labour has given enormous powers to local bodies, who now use them to push people like Mrs Farquharson around.

"ACT would put a stop to this with Rodney Hide's Local Government (Rating Cap) Amendment Bill - drawn last week - which would protect ratepayers from the crippling demands of their local councils," Miss Coddington said.

© Scoop Media

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