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Burden Must Be Removed From Ratepayers

Press Release

Burden Must Be Removed From Ratepayers

Heather Roy MP

Thursday, October 23 2008

While it is heartening to see that the Wellington City Council has seen the light and is trying to cut spending by $50 million, it's a move that ACT would have liked to have seen from all Councils long ago, ACT Deputy Leader and Wellington Central candidate Heather Roy said today.

"The WCC is now trying to 'cut its cloth to suit its needs' - it's just a shame that such a move wasn't made before we had an economic crisis on the horizon," Mrs Roy said.

"Even better is the fact that, according to Local Government New Zealand, Councils throughout the country are trying to keep rate rises to a minimum and are reining in spending to the level of inflation.

"ACT understands the importance of limiting Council spending and capping rates. That was the purpose of ACT's Rates Capping Bill, which would limit rate increases to the level of inflation plus two percent in any year, and inflation plus four percent over any three years.

"ACT supports the Wellington Chamber of Commerce proposal to merge the nine existing Councils in the Wellington Region. As well as cutting costs through better efficiencies and economies of scale, such a move would bring a better co-ordination of policy and services.

"Rates have risen steadily since the Local Government 2002 Act gave Councils the power of general competence and they became increasingly involved in business-type activities.

"Amalgamation of the local Councils, ACT's Rates Capping Bill and limiting Councils stick to their core responsibilities - such as roading, rubbish and sewerage - would ensure that unreasonable costs are no longer passed on to ratepayers," Mrs Roy said.

ENDS

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