Ratepayer Protection Pledge launched
23 AUGUST 2019
The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance has launched the “Ratepayer Protection Pledge” committing to no more than 2% annual rate hikes over the next Council term, and has written to all Mayoral and Council candidates asking them to sign. The pledge will provide clarity for voters over where candidates stand on the issue of increasing rates, levies, and other charges.
Ratepayers’ Alliance spokesperson Jo Holmes says, “Ratepayers are telling us that this election needs to be about a return to the basics: reasonable rates, sensible spending, and personal integrity. In our pre-election survey, 81% of respondents agreed that rates are too high for the services received.”
“While countless special interest groups lobby candidates to make new spending commitments, the Ratepayer Protection Pledge provides some balance, ensuring candidates explain how their promises affect the ratepayers who will fund their salary.”
“The pledge will also allow us to expose those candidates who break their promises to ratepayers once elected. The importance of keeping promises has been brought into stark relief by Mayor Phil Goff, who campaigned on cutting waste and keeping rate hikes below 2.5%, only to blow that promise with new targeted rates and a regional fuel tax.”
The pledge reads: “I, [candidate’s name], pledge to all Aucklanders that I will not vote for any measures which increase the total average burden of rates, levies including the regional fuel tax, and other compulsory Council charges, by more than 2% per annum in aggregate.”
The Ratepayers’ Alliance will provide periodic updates on which candidates have, and have not, signed the pledge. Candidates’ pledge status will be heavily publicised throughout the voting period.