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Rates Inquiry refuses to meet Community Groups

The Govt Rates Inquiry Panel have turned down the invitation to hear Residents at public meeting (see details below). Meredydd Barrar Spokesperson CAP says.

“Many community groups have informed their members and are very concerned. The last meeting the inquiry held in Auckland was in the daytime when most are at work (only 50 people turned up}. Unlike that meeting and the one at North Shore Events Centre tomorrow !8th April (in the day) this one has been well publicised. Special arrangements have been made by the Inquiry to meet Business representatives their refusal to front up here suggests they are not interested in listening to the views of ordinary people. In who’s interests is this Inquiry being held”.

Citizens Against Privatisation

Press Statement
(Meredydd Barrar,spokesperson CAP)

Community Groups Oppose Council Flat Taxes and Fear the Implications of Government Rates Inquiry and Regional Governance Proposals

Public Meeting: Kelston Community Centre, Tues 17th April, 7pm (cnr Grt Nth Rd and Awaroa Rd) Waitakere City.

At a meeting last week convened by CAP the following groups endorsed the above meeting and the following statements. All present condemned WCCs Annual Plan propasals to raise the flat wastewater charge from $350 to $378 and the UAGC (a flat charge within the rates) from $600 to $640.Flat and userpays charges represent up to 80% of many peoples Rates bills. Groups represented were Grey Power, NZEI, (primary teachers union), National Distribution Union, The Maratime Union of NZ, and The Unite Union. The Groups were seriously concerned about the implications of the Govts Rating Inquiry and Auckland Regional Governance propasals will have on workers, pensioners, schools and struggling families. The Rating Inquiry panel has been formally invited to the public meeting to hear the peoples concerns.

Meredydd Barrar, spokesperson says “Would any worker accept a wage/pension decrease? Would families agree to the scrapping of the ‘Working for Families’ package or beneficiaries to a cut in benefits? The practical effect of these increased flat charges hidden within the rates would represent their equivalent. The anger that would accompany such propasals needs to occur right here, right now before it is too late. We are demanding a progressive rating system devoid of flat and user pay charges as the best system for us all. This would represent a rate decrease of up to 20% for many thousands of low to average property owners the rating inquiry need to hear this”..

The public meeting will address the following points:
 Flat and user pays charges hit the average property owner the hardest
 While Big business and very high valued property owners gain huge rate reductions as a direct result of this system.
 WCC’s proposals, the Rating inquiry, The Auckland Regional Governance agenda, will INCREASE the rating burden even more!!!
 Did you know the Council is consulting on Regional Govt options as part of its Annual Plan? Do you agree with more Privatisation of public services.
 Then lets defend what’s left.

Council meetings, April & May
Waitakere City : 18/4 -9.30am & 26/4 -5.30pm;
16/5 -9.30am & 30/5 -5.30pm
Auckland City: 26/4 -6pm, 24/5 -6pm
North Shore City: 26/4 -7pm, 23/5 -7pm
ARC: 30/4, 28/5 -6pm
Councils' Draft Annual Plan submissions, include 'StrongerAk’

ARC, close 4pm 24/4, oral late May/early June:
Waitakere City Council, close 5pm Fri 27/4; heard before/after 3pm, 21/5-29/5
North Shore City Council, close 5pm 20/4 (only 'mtgs to explain', not oral submissions)
Auckland City, Draft AP available 20/4, close 21/5: http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/council/documents/annualplan/default.asp
Rates Inquiry: www.ratesinquiry.govt.nz
North Shore Events Centre,18/4, 1pm-3.30pm
Submissions close 4pm 30/4
Reports by July 31.
Draft Longterm Sustainability Framework (START)
8 Ak Councils + 4 Govt Depts at: _
Submissions close 30/4
PUBLIC MEETING: Tues17th April, 7pm, Kelston Community Centre (Cnr Awaroa Rd,Geat North Rd)


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