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Huge Rate Increases Under Labour

October 29, 1999

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hon Maurice Williamson Minister of Local Government

HUGE RATE INCREASES UNDER LABOUR

The only clear message coming from Labour's Local Government policy is the certainty of huge rate increases, Local Government Minister Maurice Williamson said today.

"Labour talk about giving Councils increased powers to get even more involved in issues such as community housing, employment creation, economic development and health services. Councils are already involved in some of these issues, but having them double up on work already being done by Central Government would invariably lead to rate increases and cost hikes for the very communities they are supposed to serve."

"If the policy was enacted, residential and commercial ratepayers could expect to deal with increased bureaucracy and red tape, something National is trying to reduce. Business can expect additional costs and time delays. Rate increases would inevitably result if Labour went ahead with its plan to further expand the role and power of local government in people's lives."

"National believes there is a very important place for local authorities in New Zealand's future development. But giving them unfettered powers which overlap with the work already being undertaken by Central Government could only lead to inefficiency and increased costs."

"Not only would Labour increase taxes, but their local government policy would severely burden ratepayers, the people they claim it would benefit."

ENDS


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