Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Auckland Council Invites Feedback On COVID-19 Emergency Budget

Auckland Council yesterday agreed to adopt the Consultation Document for its Emergency Budget 2020/2021, with public feedback open from mid-day today until 19 June 2020.

The Emergency Budget responds to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on Auckland Council’s finances. It estimates a huge drop in revenue in the coming financial year, with operating cash income across the council group projected to be around $525 million less than previously budgeted. This fall in revenue results from reduced dividends; a sharp fall in revenue from venues, pools, and facilities, public transport fares and parking; and reduced income from development contributions and council regulatory fees. A rates postponement scheme to ease pressure on those suffering genuine hardship because of COVID-19 will also defer receipt of up to $65 million in rates revenue.

“The hit to Auckland Council’s revenues by COVID-19 is more than half a billion dollars—the highest faced by any council, and the highest in the city’s history,” says Mayor Phil Goff.

“This is an emergency budget. We cannot respond to this crisis as business as usual. We have to cut our spending and manage our finances responsibly. We are required by law to balance our budget but can spread that over a slightly longer period than the next financial year. It is fine to borrow for infrastructure which benefits future generations. It’s not good practice to borrow to pay for today’s operational costs and load that debt on future ratepayers,” he said.

Councillors have cooperated together to put forward an emergency budget which reduces spending and defers some infrastructure projects while working hard to stop these cuts from impacting unacceptably on the vital services that the council provides Aucklanders.

“We have also sought to keep up as much investment as possible in building the infrastructure the city needs to improve transport, the environment and for housing. We want to work with the government to stimulate the economy and to save and grow new jobs to assist economic recovery.

“There are tough decisions ahead of us but by working together we can build a better and stronger Auckland.”

As part of the Emergency Budget consultation, Aucklanders will be asked whether they support the previously agreed 3.5 per cent average general rates increase, or a lower increase of 2.5 per cent.

The 2.5 per cent option would require greater cuts in spending with $50 million less investment in community assets and in transport projects to renew and make our roads safer.

This option would also mean reduced footpath cleaning, closing some public toilets and removing litter bins, reduced maintenance and cleaning of public spaces at the city centre waterfront, as well as the potential removal of some public transport fare concessions.

A zero rates rise would have severe impacts on cutting vital council services, slashing investment in much needed new infrastructure, pushing up debt levels and reducing employment and business activity in Auckland.

Finance and Performance Committee Chair Desley Simpson said, “COVID-19 has punched a half-billion-dollar hole in council’s revenue which we urgently need to address. Identifying substantial increases to savings and efficiencies has been our priority. Following consultation, we then need to make the difficult but necessary decisions that will enable Auckland to recover as quickly as possible from this crisis.”

Other proposals in the Emergency Budget include a COVID-19 rates postponement scheme to allow ratepayers who are struggling financially as a result of COVID-19 to defer up to $20,000 of their rates for the 2020/2021 year, and a suspension of the Accommodation Provider Targeted Rate to provide relief to the accommodation sector.

Auckland Council’s Emergency Budget is open for feedback until Friday 19 June 2020.

Feedback can be provided online and via email or social media; in person at a local library, service centre or local board office; by phone or post; or at Have Your Say webinar.

To find out more and to have your say, visit akhaveyoursay.nz/emergency-budget.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Todd Muller Resignation

Given the factions within National’s own caucus, anyone picked as the new leader of the National Party will struggle to unify their own troops, let alone to convince the electorate that National is a coherent government-in-waiting. Even all of that aside, no new leader – Judith Collins? Amy Adams? – seems likely to have the time or the inclination to change the party’s political messaging about Covid-19. That’s really unfortunate. In an alternative political universe, National might have been far better advised to have played the patriotism card during the pandemic, and thrown its bi-partisan support behind the government at this time of national crisis... More>>

 

Green Party: Unveils Clean Energy Plan

The Green Party is today unveiling part one of its plan for a fossil-fuel free Aotearoa, including an immediate ban on new industrial coal boilers. To ensure a just transition away from fossil-fuels, the Green Party’s Clean Energy Plan will: Establish a Clean ... More>>

ALSO:

National Departures: Press Statement From Michelle Boag

Today I am announcing that I have resigned my membership of the NZ National Party. The last few days have underscored for me the unhealthy relationship I have developed with politics. For 47 years, I have devoted much of my professional and personal ... More>>

ALSO:

Govt: Statement From Rt Hon Winston Peters

Deputy Prime Minister and New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters has announced he is taking a short stint of medical leave this week. More>>


Isolation: Government And Air NZ Agree To Manage Incoming Bookings

Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: New Investment Creates Over 2000 Jobs To Clean Up Waterways

A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects ... More>>

ALSO:

Eenrgy & Environment: Snail Like Progress On Government Vehicle Emissions Targets

First published in Energy and Environment on June 2, 2020. The latest data on the Government’s attempts to reduce the emissions of its transport fleet show no discernible progress. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s data on reducing ... More>>

Election 2020: Green Party Unveils Income Policy

The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity. The scheme resets income support payments to ensure everyone not in full-time paid work gets at least ... More>>

ALSO:


Conservation: New Protection For Dolphins

Extensive new protections are being put in place as part of an updated plan to look after New Zealand’s native Hector’s and Māui dolphins, announced Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash and Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. More>>

ALSO:

David Seymour: ACT Leader's Address To Election Campaign Launch - ASB Waterfront Theatre, 12 July 2020

Introduction Thank you very much. Elections in New Zealand – like everywhere - are a very special tradition, because they are driven by you. They’re an opportunity to change your future. If you think about it, the Government doesn’t do much. It ... More>>

Foreign Affairs: New Zealand To Review Relationship Settings With Hong Kong

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that the New Zealand Government is reviewing the settings of its relationship with Hong Kong. “China’s decision to pass a new national security law for Hong Kong has fundamentally changed the environment ... More>>

ALSO:


Covid-19 Patient Info Leak: Hamish Walker - A Personal Statement And An Apology

I have spoken to National Party Leader Todd Muller and informed him that I passed to members of the media, by email, information containing Covid-19 patient details that was given to me by a source. I did this to expose the Government’s shortcomings ... More>>

ALSO:

Economy: Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-Start COVID Rebuild

A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister ... More>>

ALSO:

Covid-19: Isolation System To Be Beefed Up After Stress

A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify ... More>>

ALSO:

Election 2020: Parties Get Into Gear

ACT has today announced its list for the 2020 General Election. “The calibre and experience of our candidates will impress voters of every persuasion. We have candidates from all walks of life. People who have built their homes, families and businesses ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels