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People's Republic of Auckland

Fri, 11 Feb 2005

People's Republic of Auckland: You voted for it, you pay for it!

"Auckland ratepayers should be incensed at the socialist city council announcing a 9% increase in rates to pay for their pet projects" declared Libertarianz Deputy and Auckland Central Candidate Stephen Berry today.

"Aucklanders should resist being forced to pay for the socialist fantasy of Mother Hubbard and Mother Hucker, and demand a freeze in rates, if not insist on their being slashed to the bone."

The Council also intends to increase rates on resident's houses by 11% - partly to help subsidise cheap housing, and Deputy Berry wonders why the irony doesn't apparently reach the top floors of the Greys Ave Civic Building. "Why not eviscerate the council bureaucracy, put the brakes on Mother Hucker's empire building, and slash rates - which reduces the cost of all housing in Auckland?" suggests a helpful Berry. "Why force ratepayers to redevelop the art gallery when patrons of the gallery can pay themselves?" he asks, counting his coins to figure out how to pay the rent increase he'll face following the rate increase.

"What's even more nauseating is the claim the higher rates are for reducing traffic congestion, when most of the money is about paying for making buses more competitive with cars. This is working so well that despite the best efforts to hamper road users, still only 8-9% of commuters choose to use Auckland's neolithic public transport 'system.' And why should ratepayers have to subsidise bus passengers anyway? he asks."

"While Auckland city voters voted for this council, and might be said to be culpabel for their choice," notes Berry, "voters at this next national election should realise that all this empire-building by councils is the direct result of Labour's amendments to the Local Government Act, which gave councils free reign to do whatever they wish, and to charge whatever they like.

Berry affirms that Libertarianz will stop councils forcing people to pay for facilities they never use, and never would choose to pay for.


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