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

Gordon Campbell:
On The Last Rites For The TPP

The Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal is one of those litmus issues that has always had more to do with one’s place on the political spectrum than with any imminent reality.

To date, the Greens have opposed (a) a wide range of the leaked content of the TPP (b) the secretive way it has been negotiated and (c) the undemocratic way in which any final document would be ratified. Labour has shared some of those concerns, but while remaining generally supportive of the deal itself.

National has, for its part, been very enthusiastic about the TPP, while still giving assurances about Pharmac being protected... For the TPP’s friends and foes alike though, the end now seems nigh. More>>

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The Farcical Elevation Of David Seymour

With the election won, it’s time to find jobs for the boy. David Seymour is the Act Party’s latest scrounger to be rewarded by the National Party, and not only with a seat in Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

As Key Mulls Joining ISIS Fighting: McCully Speech To UN Backs Security Council Bid

It is an honour to address you today on behalf of the Prime Minister and Government of New Zealand. Our General Election took place last week - our Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key is engaged in forming a government and that is why he is unable to be here in New York... More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Cunliffe Triggers Party Wide Leadership Contest

David Cunliffe has resigned as Labour Leader, but says he will seek re-election... If there is any contest the election will have to go through a process involving the party membership and union affiliates. More>>

ALSO:

Flyover Appeal: Progress And Certainty, Or Confusion And More Delays?

Lindsay Shelton: The Transport Agency, embarrassed by the rejection of its flyover alongside the Basin Reserve, says it’s appealing because the decision could “constrain progress.” Yet for most clear-sighted Wellingtonians a 300-metre-long concrete structure above Kent and Cambridge Terraces would in no way be seen as progress… More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Cunliffe’s Last Stand

Right now, embattled Labour leader David Cunliffe has three options. None of them are particularly attractive for him personally, or for the Labour Party... More>>

ALSO:

Key Seeking 'New Ideas': Look To Children’s Commissioner On Poverty - Greens

John Key should not reinvent the wheel when it comes to ideas for tackling child poverty, and instead look to the recommendations of the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Group on Child Poverty, Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says. More>>

ALSO:

'Safe To Re-Enter' - OIA Docs: Safety Is Absolute Priority At Pike River Mine

“We understand that the time it is taking to complete our evaluation of the risks is frustrating for the family members and we are trying to complete this work as quickly as we can,” Ms Dunphy says. “It is Solid Energy’s responsibility to make this decision and we will do so, once we have all the information required to make a fully-informed decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news