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16% rate rise would cost Wellington jobs - Prebble

Tuesday 22nd Jun 1999

Richard Prebble

Media Release -- Economy

16% rate rise would cost Wellington jobs - Prebble

A 16% rate increase for Wellington is totally unacceptable, Wellington Central MP Richard Prebble said today.

"I've been back and checked, and it does not appear that a single candidate for office last election promised to increase the rates by 16%," Mr Prebble said. "Indeed, we were given reassuring noises about how well the council was managing.

"At a time when business is lowering its costs, it is unacceptable for local government to continue with their cost-plus mentality. I realise that the new sewerage scheme poses some problems but it's for the council to think its way through them

"I note that the regional council has been able to make a reduction in water rates and I'm sure that further reductions are possible.

"The council should realise that theses rate increases come directly out of people's pockets. Home owners in Wellington are not receiving wage rises of 16%. Businesses in Wellington are in a competitive environment and can't pass this cost on. This rate rise reduces our city's competitiveness and will cost the city jobs.

"I call on the council to reject any increase greater than the rate of inflation. While I suspect that the figure of 16% is just a PR campaign so we congratulate the council when they announce a final figure of 8%, they should realise that 8% is also totally unacceptable."

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