No Phil, It’s Not A “$36 Rates Bump”

Press Release – Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance

The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance is accusing Mayor Phil Goff of being disingenuous in his presentation of an aggressive 5% rate hike.

Alliance spokesperson Monique Poirier says, “Phil Goff is extremely disingenuous in describing his rates hike as just a $36 bump. $36 is the difference between a 3.5% hike and a 5% hike. The full rate hike is around $120, and that’s on top of the long succession of previous annual rate hikes.”

“Further, the Mayor’s figure doesn’t include the enormous hikes in Watercare charges coming down the pipe. Watercare claim that the Council’s high borrowing means it can’t spread the costs over time.”

“Phil Goff boasts that this is ‘not a slash and burn budget’. Frankly, the Council needs a bit of slash and burn. Its tourism and marketing agency could be abolished, but instead the Mayor is spending ratepayer money on rebranding it. He’s forging ahead with a gold-plated suite of developments for the America’s Cup, even though we won’t have international tourists to justify it. And despite all the talk of cutting salaries, he isn’t. The Council still pays 220 of its staff salaries more than $200,000.”

“To our astonishment, the Mayor’s Finance Chair claims credit for $120 million in apparent ‘savings’. That’s pathetic in the context of a $5 billion organisation* and a budget that locks in higher and higher taxes.”

“Something has to give. It is not sustainable for rates to continue increasing faster than wages. The Ratepayers’ Alliance will ensure that ratepayers’ voices are heard during the submission process so that Phil Goff is not able to falsely claim public support for his aggressive rate hike like he did last year.”

*Page 15, Total group revenue (excluding other gains/losses)

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