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

 


Palmer's Council Proposal Muddle Headed - Douglas

ACT Party President Sir Roger Douglas today said Geoffrey Palmer's call for Auckland to be run by a single council funded by rates and another form of finance (possibly the right to raise taxes) is yet another example of the muddle headed thinking that has occurred at both Central and Local Government levels over the past 6 years.

"The idea ignores in almost every respect, the key elements of economics: It fails to deal with the perverse incentives that have driven rates up year after year by 3, 4 or 5 times the inflation rate.

"It fails to deal with the issue of monopoly rights which are at the heart of local government inefficiency.

"It fails to deal with the political gains that come from supporting various special interest groups which drives wasteful expenditure.

"It fails to align the interests of Auckland ratepayers, politicians, bureaucrats and interest groups.

"It positively feeds the notion that there is somehow a free lunch out there for local bodies (more taxing powers), thereby enabling the politicians to ignore the trade-offs they should be making e.g. selling airport shares to finance critically needed infrastructure like stormwater.

"It fails to deal with the issue of the high transaction costs of doing business in Auckland like licensing and the RMA.

"It totally ignores the secondary effects which would occur if we gave local government the power to raise more revenue. The cost of these secondary effects would well exceed the benefits that would flow from extra local government expenditure.

"Unrestrained monopoly government activity of the nature promoted by Sir Geoffrey Palmer will inevitably allow special interest groups to use the democratic process to fleece rate payers and consumers.

"Geoffrey Palmer's proposition also ignores the fact that competition is just as important in government as in markets.

"Only when we have competition between government units and between government enterprises and private organisations can we hope to ensure that government is a servant of the people and not the other way around. Competition is a disciplinary force and we ignore it at our peril.

"Having said all this, Sir Geoffrey Palmer is right, Local Government needs to be reformed, not only in Auckland but elsewhere as well.

"Size however, if it is a factor, is but a minor one.

"If government is to be a positive force and not a negative one, we must pay more attention to the rules of the political game. We must ensure we create a framework where the interests of the various groups - voters, politicians, bureaucrats and the self interest elements of our society are in harmony with economic and social progress.

"This will require that the scope of government (including local government) is limited and that government remains neutral among the various groups within society.

"Sound economic organisations are the key to economic prosperity - Geoffrey Palmer's proposal does not fit into this category," said Roger Douglas.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news