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Salary increases: shock for ratepayers

Opinion from David Thornton of No More Rates
Many ratepayers will feel quite shocked at the level of annual salary increases promised to those elected to Auckland Council and its Local Boards after the October local elections.

Councillors on the Governing Body will get a 10% rise to just under $100,000, committee chairs and the Deputy Mayor get an extra $17,000.

In contrast the Mayor’s increase is a mere 1.5%

Waiheke Local Board chair gets a whopping 29% increase – an extra $12,262.

Papakura Board chair’s pay goes up 21%, while Devonport-Takapuna Local Board chair will enjoy an extra $10,000 – and 18% increase.

The Remuneration Authority hints that these increases would have been higher but have been kept low in recognition of the global financial crisis.

Auckland ratepayers are currently being asked to accept significant rates increases to pay for solutions to Auckland’s transport woes.

Increases in water charges are looming to pay for wastewater infrastructure to meet the demands of 1,000,000 more residents.

While most ratepayers will accept the elected representatives should receive remuneration for the time and effort the put in to governing the city, few will approve the current levels let alone these substantial increases which will be paid for out rates.

Ratepayers will surely be looking more closely at the candidates in this year’s elections and no doubt will be aiming for potential ‘value for money’!

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