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Budget fails to deliver for ratepayers

John Carter MP
National Party Local Government Spokesman

25 May 2008

Budget fails to deliver for ratepayers

The Budget fails to deliver for ratepayers across the country who have faced years of local government rates increases, says National's Local Government spokesman, John Carter.

"Over the past eight years, ratepayers have suffered an average rates increase of over 64 percent.

"This is on top of interest rates that have been pushed up by wasteful Government spending, years of resistance to letting hardworking Kiwis keep more of their own income in the form of personal tax cuts, and rising petrol and living costs.

"Labour has to take some responsibility for the hardship being experienced by ratepayers."

Mr Carter points to evidence that shows the Labour Government's excessive regulation has contributed to rising costs in local government.

"Hamilton City Council has identified 60 pieces of legislation passed by Labour that have added to the burden of ratepayers. The Mayor of Wanganui has calculated that this excessive cost-shifting amounts to a 6 percent rates increase per year.

"Last year, to head off ratepayer discontent, Labour commissioned the Shand Inquiry into local government rates. That inquiry made 96 recommendations on how the burden of ratepayers could be addressed.

"If Labour took the Shand Inquiry seriously, the Budget would have reflected that. But you didn't see any mention of the inquiry or those 96 recommendations.

"Almost a year after the completion of the Shand Inquiry, Labour has not implemented a single recommendation. Not one.

"Labour has turned its back on struggling ratepayers. The rates increases ratepayers will have to pay this year will, in many cases, be far in excess of inflation and far in excess of Labour's block of cheese tax cuts."


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