Auckland Council does big FU to struggling ratepayers

Auckland Councillor for Rodney Greg Sayers released:

Today the Auckland Council voted to support Mayor Phil Goff’s 3.5% general rates increase.

Rodney Councillor Greg Sayers was one of three Councillors who voted against the increase.

He said increasing taxes such as rates in a recession makes a recession deeper and that was the wrong thing to be doing.

The other two Councillors who voted against the 3.5% general rates increase were Cr Christine Fletcher and Cr John Watson.

“The mandate from the public was clear with over 64 percent of the submissions from Auckland residents wanting a 2.5 percent rates increase or less,” says Sayers.

“The majority of people said they wanted Auckland Council to cut-its-cloth to fit its income, especially at a time when households can least afford more taxes,” Sayers said during the debate.

Sayers gave alternative solutions to increasing rates which included central Government taking the City Rail Link debt off Auckland Council’s books, bringing payrates for Council staff paid over $100,000 back into line with the private sector, and implementing a Royal Commission recommendation to have an Independent Performance Auditor residing over Auckland Council providing independent assurances to the public that the Council was providing high-quality services in a cost effective way.

“It’s the financial hardship created on Auckland’s most vulnerable, the poorest, the supernatants, and those on fixed incomes that concern me the most,” said Sayers.

Aucklanders should be angry at the 18 Councillors who voted to sock them in the middle of a recession with a 3.5% rates increase – ignoring the vast majority of submissions against this.

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