Crone's policies will leave Goff, a tax and spend Labour Party man through and through, struggling to appeal to ratepayers who are sick and tired of 10% pa rates rises. Yet all he has done so far is promise more of the Len Brown vanity projects and with them higher rates and more debt. I doubt Goff has ever managed a budget in his life.
Vic is also promising to cut waste, reduce staff costs and get debt under control. This is music to the ears of hard pressed ratepayers who, until now, have been treated like cash cows by Len Brown and his crony ‘TerribleTen’ Councillors.
Media Release: Getting the basics right for Auckland
by VIC CRONE — 25 APRIL 2016
Auckland Mayoral Candidate Vic Crone has announced her first set of policies, fiscally responsible commitments she says are fundamental basics of building a world class city.
The policies were jointly developed with Auckland Future and the announcement includes lifting council performance in four key areas: keeping residential rates low, cutting waste, reducing staff costs and controlling debt – essentials that council needs to get right.
“Last year ratepayers faced a 9.9 per cent average rates increase, for some it was a shocking 15 per cent. As Mayor I will cap average residential rates increases at 2 per cent per annum for the next three years,” says Ms Crone. “If council isn’t being cost-effective, timely and smart with its spending, it’s downright outrageous to expect more from ratepayers.”
Vic Crone’s leadership will deliver at least $500 million in savings with a focus on reducing back-office waste, efficient procurement, cutting duplication and imposing a Mayor-led Line-Item Review programme.
As a start, Crone will reduce staff costs by 5-10 per cent over the next three years and cap staff numbers at current levels, saving up to $80 million.
“It’s concerning that every year for the last three years council has exceeded its staff cost budget line by over $50 million. I will put a stop to this trend while protecting frontline staff, core services and key capital investments.”
She says any additional operating surpluses will be prioritised toward paying down debt faster than forecast.
“I understand even with minor changes in interest rates, council could breach the 12 per cent interest payments to revenue cap under its current debt management strategy. I’ll ensure council is repaying debt above the current plan target and impose a review of this strategy to better protect Auckland’s interests,” Ms Crone says.
“I would like to acknowledge the Auckland Future candidates who worked together on developing this policy, and other centre-right Council candidates for their input.”
“Council can be a high-performing organisation that delivers real results for ratepayers and is ahead of the game. I have the strong leadership, fresh ideas and energy to get there and it starts by getting the basics in order.”
My personal favourite is getting the bureaucracy under control. Brown has been a weak mayor and so prey to the agendas of his rampant bureaucrats. They need a lesson on who is the servant and who the master or mistress.
The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance has welcomed Crone’s message in its media release this morning.
RATEPAYERS WELCOME CRONE FISCAL LEADERSHIP
26 APRIL 2016
The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance is welcoming Victoria Crone’s fiscal plan announced this morning but says it doesn’t go far enough in cutting wasteful Auckland Council expenditure.
Spokesperson Carmel Claridge says, “Ratepayers will welcome Victoria Crone signalling a move to restrain the Council’s out of control spending. This represents a break from the cycle of candidates making promises on a tax and spend basis”
“The $500 million is only 1.2% of the remainder of the 10-year budget. While this is a good starting point, we believe we could work with the next mayor to identify much more unnecessary and wasteful Council spending.”