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Rates Bill Puts New Zealanders First

Rates Bill Puts New Zealanders First

Rodney Hide Wednesday, 16 August 2006 Press Releases - Local Government

Rodney Hide, promoter of a Bill to cap increases in local body rates, says ratepayers should be furious that New Zealand First seem set to deny the public a chance to make submissions by voting against his Bill next week.

"An inquiry - favoured by New Zealand First - might help, but it is not before Parliament at the moment", Mr Hide said.

"I want to give the public a chance to have their say now, rather than face another year of crippling rates rises.

"We have an immediate opportunity to debate alternative ways of funding local government.

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

"My proposal includes the ability for councils to get exemptions to the cap for particular projects - with infrastructure developments in mind.

"I do not pretend that my Bill has all the answers, but it provides an opportunity for the public to have their say.

"By denying ratepayers a chance to make submissions, New Zealand First are defying democracy and ignoring tens of thousands of people - especially pensioners and people on fixed incomes - who are crying out for rates reform.

"In one week, Brian Donnelly and his colleagues will decide whether ratepayers have to face another round of rates hikes.

"New Zealand First voted for a similar Bill in 2004 - all that has changed now are the baubles of office.

"Members of Parliament should be bigger than party politics, and work together to put Kiwis first", Mr Hide said.


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