October 24, 2008

Time to provide rates relief to kiwi battlers

The Report of the Local Government Rates Inquiry last year “identified affordability problems for rates for some sections of the community which will increase over the next ten years.” In other words councils are pushing up rates so fast that low income households can’t afford to pay and its going to get worse over the next ten years.

Senior citizens and others on fixed incomes face a constant struggle trying to budget in the face of local authorities which seem to have an insatiable appetite for ratepayer dollars.

It is not acceptable for local authorities to demand rates rises above the rate of inflation and population growth. Rates rises should be capped at the inflation rate plus an allowance for population growth. This will inevitably mean that Councils have to prioritise like the rest of us. Pet projects might have to be delayed or scrapped until they can be afforded.

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