Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford issued a blunt threat last week that any move by local authorities to reduce rates to relieve financial pain for residents and businesses could jeopardise the Government’s willingness to invest in any proposed partnerships.
Rates freezes or reductions were also “unlikely to be effective”, Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta told Stuff.
So you have two Ministers telling Council to whack up rates as much as they can, ignoring the fact many businesses and households have had huge incomes drops.
But Richard Peebles, the developer behind Christchurch’s Riverside Market and Little High food venues, accused them of being clueless about the lockdown’s effect on small businesses and urged them to “get their heads out of the sand”.
“They must live in some sort of vacuum,” he said. “They don’t understand the impact of their decisions on small businesses, and I suggest they actually take time to talk to [them] – if there’s going to be any left.”
Clueless or uncaring?