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Auckland Plan Useless Without An Affordability Plan

The nationwide campaign to replace the present system of council rates with a fairer system which reflects ability to pay and value for money.

Founder – David Thornton
29 March 2012

Auckland Plan Useless Without An Affordability Plan

[statement by David Thornton]

Today’s Auckland Council meeting to approve the 30-year Auckland Plan could well leave ratepayers totally unmoved and confused – plans for everything, but no plan for making all these dreams affordable to the ratepayers of today and tomorrow.

Full of visionary statements and glorious pictures of life in Auckland in 2042, this Plan is another rewrite of earlier plans – some going back 30 years to 1982 – making the same mistake of self-belief in a council’s ability to forecast so far ahead.

What is the point of all these plans if there is no realistic picture of how much it will all cost, who will pay, and, most importantly, who will be able to afford to pay.

Some of the visionary projects also appear in the 10-year Draft Long Term Plan which is due to be finalised by June – and which is also causing ratepayers nightmares as they contemplate annual rates increases of 10% and more over the next few years.

The attempt by some councillors to introduce consideration of ‘affordability’ will be welcomed – but will probably not prevent the council spending millions more on consultants as they aim to put some meat on the visionary skeleton in the Plan.

And still floating around – A Waterfront Plan, a Transport Plan, an Economic Development Plan.

It is about time we had an Affordabilty Plan which forecasts household incomes and superannuation levels in 2042, together with forecasts of household expenses, levels of income tax and GST, the cost of petrol - and all the other costs which contribute to affordability.


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