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 Our Unreal Optimism About The Economic Impact Of Coronavirus

At this week’s Chinese New Year celebrations, PM Jacinda Ardern was resolutely upbeat that business with China would soon bounce back to normal – better than ever, even - once the coronavirus epidemic has been brought under control. To Ardern, the adversity has only accentuated just how close we are to Beijing Nothing wrong with being upbeat, if it can calm the nerves and turn business sentiment into a self-fulfilling prophecy. The problems begin when the optimism detaches itself from reality. What has been very odd so far about the coronavirus episode is that global share markets – normally spooked by mere sneezes or sniffles in the world’s major economies - have continued to be fairly positive, even as the epidemic has unfolded... More>>

First Published on Werewolf here


 

Gordon Campbell: On The Political Donations Scandals
Even paranoids have real enemies. While there has been something delusionary about the way New Zealand First has been living in denial about its donations scandal, one can sympathise with its indignation about Paula Bennett and Simon Bridges being among its chief accusers. More>>

ALSO:

UN Expert: NZ Housing Crisis Requires Bold Human Rights Response

This is a press statement from UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing at the end of her 10-day visit to New Zealand. The Government of New Zealand has recognized that the country is facing a housing crisis, said Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur ... More>>

ALSO:

2020 And Beyond: National’s Economic Plan

National Leader Simon Bridges has today outlined National’s economic plan heading into election 2020. “National understands the economy and how it impacts on New Zealanders day to day lives... More>>

ALSO:

Abortion Legislation Committee: Abortion Bill Report Presented To The House

The Abortion Legislation Committee has presented its report on the Abortion Legislation Bill to the House. A copy of the report is available here. The bill seeks to have abortion services provided like other health services... More>>

ALSO:


Auditor-General's Report : Water Management

The Auditor-General’s report Reflecting on our work about water management was presented to the House of Representatives today. Over the last two years we have been looking at how well public organisations are carrying out their water management ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels