Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Local Govt Reforms Driven By Ideology, Not Good Governance


A manufactured crisis is being used as an excuse to drive ideological changes to local government, the Green Party says.

“Central government proposals to cap rates, limit council spending, and force amalgamations would further undermine local democracy,” Green Party local government spokesperson Eugenie Sage said.

“The key challenges local authorities face are a backlog of infrastructure investment where populations are growing and their reliance on rates as their major funding source.”

The National-led Government’s false crisis ignores a number of key facts from Local Government New Zealand about how local government is performing:

• Council spending on so called "non-core services" — such as culture, recreation and sport — declined by $ 185 million between 2008 and 2010 to 13.2 per cent of authority spending.

• From 2007-2010 rates were a stable portion of household expenditure; holding steady at 2.25%.

• The recent Productivity Commission’s draft report on housing affordability notes that rates have been declining in relation to property values, indicating that in terms of household wealth, rates are becoming less significant.

• Local government has been more efficient than central government at keeping labour cost rises under control.

• Total council expenditure on interest repayments as a percentage of total council operating revenue in 2011 was 6.42%, up from 5.51% in 2010 and 5.22% in 2009. The internationally prudent benchmark is that debt servicing should be below 10% of an organisation’s income.

• Auckland is the area under the greatest pressure from population growth coupled with a lack of past infrastructure spending. As a result it is under a high debt load. Some former Auckland Councils’ debt expenditure has exceeded 10% of operating revenue.

“At a time when central government is borrowing heavily to build infrastructure and ease the global financial crisis, it’s rich for them to tell local government to, “do as we say, not what we do,” Ms Sage said.

“Instead of badgering local authorities, Local Government Minister Nick Smith ought to congratulate the many councils that did a good job of coping with the global financial crisis, while ensuring essential infrastructure was built.

“Re-instating a regional fuel tax would help reduce councils' dependence on rates if that was really the Government's concern.

“Nick Smith is relying on the shock doctrine to instigate ideologically driven changes to local government, ignoring the facts,” Ms Sage said.

********

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Wage Cuts, And The Listener’s Demise

Various levels of across the board wage cuts – 10%? 15% ?- are being mooted for workers in some of our larger firms, in order to help the likes of Fletchers, Mediaworks etc survive the Covid-19 crisis. It is extraordinary that unions should be having to explain to employers (and to the public) just how unfairly the burden of such a response would fall. Basically, if you’re on a salary in six figures, a 10-15% haircut can still be worn fairly lightly. If you’re employed at or below the median wage, losing 10% of your income can be a hammer blow... More>>

 
 

Government: Seeking Infrastructure Projects


The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say...More>>

ALSO:


Police Commissioner: Christchurch Terrorist Pleads Guilty

Police acknowledge the guilty pleas in the Christchurch Mosque attacks prosecution that were entered in the Christchurch High Court today. The guilty pleas to 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and one charge of engaging in a terrorist ... More>>

ALSO:

Transport: $54 billion Investment In Draft GPS 2021

The Draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) 2021 on land transport confirms that the Government will invest a record $54 billion in its balanced transport policy over the next decade. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Loss Of Abortion Safe Zones

No doubt, last night’s defeat of abortion law reform provisions that would have created safe zones around abortion clinics will be portrayed, by some, as a victory for free speech. It isn’t. It was a victory for bigotry and intimidation directed ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On National's Regulation Crusade

Lets step back in time now, to simpler days and to simple-minded solutions. So…. if National gets elected, landlords will once again be able to evict tenants at will, raise rents anytime they like, and ignore the need to install a healthy standard of heating in the homes they put out to rent. This promised ‘bonfire of regulations’ is being done in the name of cutting red tape... More>>

ALSO:

SMC - Expert Reaction: PF2050 Strategy

DOC has released a strategy to reach Predator Free 2050, along with an action plan through to 2025. The predator-free goal focuses on three groups of mammals: possums, three species of rats, plus stoats, ferrets and weasels... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels