Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


PM Says Brown’s Rail Link Will Be “Burden On The Ratepayers"

PM Says Early Start To Mayor Len Brown’s Rail Link Will Be “Quite A Big Burden On The Ratepayers”

In a radio interview this morning the Prime Minister said that an early start to the Auckland City Rail Link would lead to “quite a big burden on the ratepayers”.

In answer to a question in Parliament yesterday Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee said the Government would not fund the project until it was obvious that targets for passenger and population growth were enough to justify the $3 billion cost of the project.

Mr Brownlee said it was unlikely those targets would be met to allow a start before 2020

Mayor Len Brown's proposal to the Prime Minister is that the Auckland Council will fund the entire cost of the City Rail Link from 2016 to 2020 when the Government would repay 50% of that cost.

The Council's 10-year Long Term Plan shows that in the 5 years to 2020 the Council plans to spend a total of $2.4 billion, funded 50/50 by the Government and Council.

The Prime Minister, last year, gave conditional agreement to support the project which was then estimated to cost $2.8 billion.

That cost is now likely to be at least $3.2 billion.

The Mayor and Council have assumed that the Government would fund half of the total cost, although the Government has not committed to that level of funding.

However the Mayor has failed, after three years of effort, to find a funding method for the Council's half-share.

The Mayor is asking the Prime Minister to provide a cast-iron guarantee that the Government will pay half the final total in 2020, and, with that guarantee, the Council would fund the entire project between now and 2020'

With no funding plan in place the Mayor will need to borrow the full cost with the ratepayers being the ultimate guarantors.

Interest on new borrowings would be funded from rates income with the result that rates would rise considerably, which is the burden the Prime Minister referred to this morning.

By increasing its total borrowings to raise this $2.4 billion the Council will reach its prudential borrowing limits, and probably its prudential interest limits.

The Mayors obsession with the Central Rail Link is leading to a very risky financial future where funding for essential basic services will be squeezed to meet the interest costs of the rocketing debt of the city.

This proposal comes from the Mayor and has not been approved by the Council as a whole, and it is now up to councillors to take control of the situation and bring some clear and sane consideration of this dangerous situation.
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Anzac Issue Out Now: Werewolf 47

Hi and welcome to the 47th edition of Werewolf, published on the eve of Anzac Day. Its become a cliché to describe Gallipolli as the crucible of this country’s identity, yet hold on... Isn’t our national identity supposed to be bi-cultural... and wouldn’t that suggest that the New Zealand Wars of the 19th century is a more important crucible of national identity than those fought on foreign soil?

Yet as Alison McCulloch eloquently reveals in this month’s cover story, New Zealand devotes a mere fraction of its attention span and funding resources to commemorating the New Zealand Wars compared to what it devotes to the two world wars, Vietnam and Afghanistan... More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Crowdsourcing: Green Party Launches Internet Rights And Freedoms Bill

The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand’s first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Shane Jones Departure

Shane Jones has left Parliament in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with self interest coming in first and second, and with the interests of the Labour Party (under whose banner he served) way, way back down the track. More>>

COMMENT:

Multimedia: PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference - April 22 2014

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • The recent improvement in the economy with a growing job market • Income and wealth inequality • Easter trading laws • The New Zealander killed in a drone strike in Yemen... More>>

Easter Trading: Workers 'Can Kiss Goodbye To Easter Sunday Off'

The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. More>>

ALSO:

ACT Don't Go For Maximum Penalty: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail

Three strikes for burglary was introduced to England and Wales in 1999. As in New Zealand, burglary was out of control and given a low priority by the police and the courts. A Labour government passed a three strikes law whereby a third conviction for burglaries earned a mandatory three years in prison... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home. More>>

ALSO:

Elections: New Electorate Boundaries Finalised

New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news