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Communities Pay Twice

Communities Pay Twice

A 30 percent surge in local council spending under the Labour Government was entirely predictable, and largely avoidable, ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader and Local Government Spokesman Ken Shirley said today.

"Figures released just before Christmas show Council spending jumped five percent in the September quarter to $1.047 billion - the second successive quarter in which combined council expenditures have topped a billion dollars," Mr Shirley said.

"Since the September 1999 quarter, this means council spending is up 30 percent, with 12 percent of this jump in the last year alone.

"Council rates have also exploded, rising 24 percent over the four years under Labour. This is totally unacceptable - especially in light of the fact that inflation over the same period has been 10 percent.

"ACT warned that this would happen with Labour's changes to local government laws.

"Under Labour's new Local Government Act, many responsibilities have been shifted to local councils by stealth - without regard to funding, and without the Government exercising its own responsibility. The resulting duplication of bureaucracy means communities are now paying twice - once through taxes, and again through rates.

"No wonder Labour's only advice to people over Christmas is not to spend too much - they'll need it to pay their taxes and rates," Mr Shirley said.

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