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Ratepayers will pick up tab for Public Health Bill

Jo Goodhew MP National Party Associate Health Spokeswoman

19 March 2008

Ratepayers will pick up tab for Public Health Bill

Look out ratepayers, your rates will rise yet again if the Public Health Bill is implemented without significant amendment, says National Party Associate Health spokeswoman Jo Goodhew.

"This bill involves unacceptable risk and cost to ratepayers by imposing significant compliance costs on councils and businesses. It is not clear enough about who will do what and it requires enforcement without giving councils any teeth."

She is commenting after Local Government New Zealand gave a submission to the Health Select Committee today on the Public Health Bill, which updates powers for dealing with disease outbreaks and clarifies other public health responsibilities.

"We were horrified to hear that, despite the Public Health Bill being drawn up over the past seven years, Local Government NZ, a key stakeholder, had very minimal input to the drafting of the bill.

"The arrogant Labour Government has been caught out failing to consult, yet again.

"It is apparent that the Labour Government isn't interested in either making sure the Bill is affordable for ratepayers, or even workable for key partner-territorial authorities.

"Local Government representatives say there has been ignorance or indifference to consultation on the part of the Minister's officials.

"When homeowners are carrying the burden of higher mortgage costs, and spiralling fuel and food prices, the last thing they need is more buck passing from central government that will result in higher rates."

ENDS

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