NightMayor Brown used his casting vote yesterday to bring rates rises of up to 40 percent next year. He has played this ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card to in order to try and avoid throwing Auckland into debtor’s prison.
Having bankrupted the city he now proposes to bankrupt each and every one of us.
The cap which protected some Auckland homeowners from up to 40 per cent rates rises has been voted down today.
Auckland Council’s Governing Body today argued its way through its 10 year budget, known as the Long Term Plan 2015-25
Among a series of major decisions it removed the rates cap, refused a referendum on its controversial plans to pay for expensive transport projects and made changes to how it charges property developers
The vote to scrap the rates cap was tight – 11 votes to 10.
I am horrified that the Auckland Council, led by the Mayor, has just voted 11/10 not to provide provide the public the option of rating transition for those likely to experience double digit rates increases as a result of the revaluations. This spells disaster for many across the region and shows a complete disregard for the plight of ratepayers particularly the elderly and those living on fixed incomes.
First of all shall we deal with the broken promises?
Len Brown promised a rate rise of no more than 2.5 per cent yet voted for a 3.5 per cent increase.
Len Brown promised rate rises within the range of inflation.
The council promised a maximum rates cap of 10 per cent. They then rejected that.
Hundreds of thousands of households will be getting bills with increases of in excess of 10 per cent, some as high as 40 per cent. How in God's name is this allowed to happen?
What other business could possibly get away with a 40 per cent increase in a bill - any bill - without a revolt or the customer leaving to do business elsewhere?
There is more to be alarmed about. This city pays $1 million a day on its debt. That million doesn't pay off the debt, it merely services the interest on the loan. We pay a million bucks a day to tread financial water. The council then decides to add to that debt by voting to borrow $850 million to buy their trains.
While we nodded off, the mad people walked in and took control.
What this city needs is a leader. It needs a shining light. It needs an articulate performer. It needs a person who understands how to live within your means.
A leader that knows the danger of debt and how to say no to the never-ending series of do-gooders with their mad ideas and endless series of requests for money to pay for things councils shouldn't be involved with.
What Len needs is a competitor.
There must be someone somewhere with a brain, a head for numbers, some community spirit, a profile and an entrepreneurial flair that sees Auckland as worth more than it's currently got.
And you want to know the best thing about Banksy, apart from leaving Auckland City Council with no debt, he knew how to handle the bureaucrats and keep them in their place. They have been like pigs in muck ever since Helen Clark introduced her fluffy ‘four wellbeings’ into changes to the 2002 Local Government Act. This allowed Councils to start spending on ‘social’ programmes instead of concentrating on their core responsibilities of parks, roads and infrastructure. Result? Bankruptcy in the hands of a socialist Mayor.
Let’s get back to basics. Let’s get Banksy back.