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Ratepayers should look to Labour for answers

John Carter MP National Party Local Government Spokesman

13 June 2006

Confused ratepayers should look to Labour for answers

Ratepayers wondering why their rates are increasing at such an incredible rate should look to Helen Clark's Government for answers, says National's Local Government spokesman, John Carter.

He is commenting on an analysis by Federated Farmers of 83 local body Long Term Council Community Plans, which forecast an average rates increase of 7.8% for each of the next three years.

"The Government is continuing to shift responsibilities onto local government, increasing compliance costs that councils have no alternative but to pass on to ratepayers," says Mr Carter.

"Dog microchipping, making district councils supply the same quality drinking water to livestock as they do to people, and the $50-$100 million required to prepare the community plans just to their draft stage are all examples of unnecessary expenses imposed by Labour.

"Just last week, Wanganui District Council claimed that Labour's policies will cost it $1.3 million, equivalent to a 4 to 5 per cent rates rise every year.

"Labour continues to impose new bureaucratic regulation on our communities. And every time they do, ratepayers must absorb the cost.

"Wanganui District Council has estimated that every time the Government changes a policy the minimum cost to the council - and therefore to ratepayers - is $50,000.

"This Government has a budget surplus of around $8.5 billion, yet continues to increase the burden on ratepayers," says Mr Carter.

ENDS

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