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Eight Days Until Crucial Vote For Ratepayers

Eight Days Until Crucial Vote For Ratepayers

Rodney Hide Tuesday, 15 August 2006 Press Releases - Local Government

Ratepayers have just eight days until MPs decide on whether the cost of local government rates continues to climb, says ACT Leader Rodney Hide.

"My Local Government (Rating Cap) Amendment Bill, which limits increases in local body rates, faces its first vote in Parliament next Wednesday", Mr Hide said.

"If voted down next week, the public will lose a chance to have their say.

"My office has been deluged with calls, emails and letters - particularly from pensioners and people on fixed incomes - supporting an end to unsustainable rates increases.

"National, the Maori Party and United Future have all agreed to support my Bill to Select Committee - the deciding votes will come from New Zealand First.

"New Zealand First has said that they will decide their position this morning. I remain hopeful that they will support my Bill to Select Committee, so the public can have their say.

"A Select Committee would provide the opportunity to discuss alternative ways to raise revenue and continue infrastructure development.

"Capping rates increases would also prevent central government from pushing tough issues off to councillors.

"Local government should be allowed and encouraged to focus on the needs of their communities.

"I do not pretend that my Bill has all the answers, but it is important that ratepayers and local government get the chance to come to parliament and explain their concerns.

"Politicians gave councils the power to raise rates - politicians must make sure that power is used responsibly", Mr Hide said.

ENDS

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