Twyford threatens local Councils if they freeze rates

Phil Twyford has basically told local Councils he wants them to proceed with huge rates increases and if they don’t, then he’ll cut Government funding to them!

Stuff reports:

Councils are being warned not to slash rates in response to the coronavirus crisis, with a Cabinet minister saying it could cost them government funding. …

“If you deliberately cut your revenue by scaling back rates increases, or going for zero rates, or cutting rates, how can I stand up with my colleagues and make the case that we should be investing alongside you. I can’t do that.”

So let’s be very clear. He is not just warning Councils against cutting rates, but he is warning them to not even “scale back rates increases”

So at a time when business and household incomes are plummeting, Phil Twyford is telling local Councils they must not scale back rates increases, and if they do, he’ll make sure they miss out on government funding.

Waikato Regional Council chair Russ Rimmington didn’t participate in the meeting of Future Proof partners at which Twyford spoke but had the minister’s comments relayed to him.

Rimmington is focused on delivering a zero per cent rate increase for the next financial year and told Stuff he was “absolutely appalled” by Twyford’s remarks.

As we all should be.

“Here we are trying to be responsible, going through our expenditure line by line to try and be more efficient, and at the same time not introduce a slash and burn to our projects or services,” Rimmington said.

“His [Twyford’s] comments were a little bit threatening because we’ve obviously just spent weeks on these shovel ready project proposals and we don’t want to see those jeopardised.”

Can you believe it. A Minister not just advocating that Councils don’t scale back rates increases, but saying they may lose government funding if they do.

So when your local Council sticks up your rates, you now know who to blame – Phil Twyford.

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