The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance sent out a media release immediately they heard of the decision pointing out that the pay rise is ‘groteque’ at a time when inflation is near zero and many ratepayers are struggling to make ends meet because of 10% p.a.rates rises.
The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance can reveal that Auckland Councillors today approved a 9.5% pay hike for their Chief Executive, Stephen Town, at a public excluded meeting of the Councillors. The Ratepayers' Alliance understand that Mr Town’s salary will increase from $630,000 to $690,000.
Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance spokesperson Carmel Claridge says:
“Ratepayers will be staggered that at a time when approval of the Council is at an all time low, it is rewarding its Chief Executive with a 9.5% salary hike. With inflation close to zero, and so many ratepayers struggling in the lead up to Christmas, the decision is grotesque."
“If the Council was performing well, this could almost be justified. However with a the current economic climate, the Council’s sky high debt and seeming inability to rein in costs, there is no justification whatsoever for an increase of this magnitude."
“It’s these sort of decisions which led to the formation of the Ratepayers’ Alliance. Len Brown has handed ratepayers a big lump of coal for Christmas and we need to stop this culture of extravagance and backslapping."
To reward Town with a bonus nearly 100 times the rate of inflation in such circumstances is nothing more than a slap in the face for ratepayers…again. No wonder the salary bill for Council staff is nearing $1 billion.
Shame on all Councillors who think its fine to treat ratepayers as cash cows to be miked dry so they can feel good about themselves by giving extravagant Christmas presents to staff.