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The great Why tomo(rrow) debate

24/07/2006 4:18 p.m.
The great Why tomo(rrow) debate

The debate around local authority rates is just that, a debate around, not about, the issue. The primary problem has two inter-related parts. The first is there has been decades of under-expenditure on essential infrastructure which has now resulted in a lack of ability to deliver to the people what the people need. The second is the mechanism used to fund the building and maintenance of the infrastructure. It simply means each successive generation of ratepayers paying more than the previous one for a progressively inadequate infrastructure.

Rates should not be rising year on year, far in excess of the ‘official’ rate of inflation. It begs the question as to what is driving the increases and unless that issue is identified and addressed there will be no relief in sight for anyone. Both Labour and National are offering the same old ‘solutions’ to the problem, tweedledum and tweedledumber proposals that have got us to where we are today and which will fearlessly take us to where we don’t want to be tomorrow.

It is obvious a new mechanism is needed to fund the activities of Local Territorial Authorities (LTAs) – one that provides a simplified funding alternative to the present complicated, tired, old, obviously inadequate, interest bearing debt, rates and tax based model.

The Social Credit Party provided an analysis of the problem over thirty years ago and the solution proposed then is still the only viable way ahead.
The NZ Democrats are today the only political party committed to introducing a modern mechanism which will see LTAs funded without loading successive generations with ever increasing rates, higher taxes and less bangs for their bucks.

Of course the defenders of the current debt based mechanism are right there in the front line saying the solution is to borrow more to keep the rates down. Funny economics that when you think about it and reminds of the infamous military solution during the Vietnam War, when the 1968 annihilation of the Mekong River town of Ben Tre gave rise to the famous phrase "We had to destroy the town in order to save it" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Tre)

If ratepayers really want their communities to be ‘cool’they need to vote for some ‘hot’ policies – Democrat policies


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