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Labour buck-passing sees rates skyrocket

John Carter
National Party Local Government Spokesman

30 March 2006

Labour buck-passing sees rates skyrocket

Labour’s constant dumping of new and expanded responsibility onto councils will see rates continue to rise, says National’s Local Government spokesman, John Carter.

He is responding to Labour’s support for Jeanette Fitzsimons’ member’s bill requiring local government to take into account issues relating to global warming when considering RMA applications.

Mr Carter says this is just the latest in a long line of additional costs imposed on local government which are, inevitably, passed on to ratepayers.

Since Labour came into office in 1999, rates around the country have increased by an average of more than 31 percent.

Mr Carter says central government has kept imposing more and more rules and function on local government.

“Councils can’t be experts on everything from climate change to prostitution, and Labour’s expectation that they should be only leads to councils paying more and more for advice and consultation.

“The time that this will add to the processing of applications is another cost to local authorities, as is the staff time it will consume.

“Such ongoing and significant cost increases are not acceptable.

“The subsequent rate increases make budgeting for families on fixed incomes unnecessarily difficult and undermine the competitiveness of New Zealand businesses,” says Mr Carter.

ENDS

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