Before yesterday’s Auckland Council Budget and Finance Committee meeting the only figure on the table was Phil Goff’s 2.5% pledge. As reported on Wednesday’s blog, this was concerning for those who had signed the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance pre-election pledge that they would keep rates rises to 2% during the next three years. At the end of the meeting they had forced Goff to include a 2% option to go out to public consultation.
This was a victory for the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance who put pressure on Councillors on Wednesday by issuing a media release calling for the inclusion of the 2% option.
LOW RATES OPTION MUST BE INCLUDED IN BUDGET CONSULTATION
A fiscally prudent option for rate raises of 2% or less and must be included in Auckland Council’s consultation documents in the lead up to Phil Goff’s first Auckland Council budget, says the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance. Tomorrow Councillors will vote on the fiscal options that will be put before the public for consultation, the draft of which do not include an option for limiting average rate rises to 2% .
Ratepayers’ Alliance Spokesperson, Jo Holmes, says:
“Phil Goff appears to want to limit the discussion on low rates by not putting it down as an option for officials to consult on. It’s an attempt to frame his 2.5% rates hike as the 'low rates’ when in actual fact it was the highest ‘pledge’ of all the mainstream mayoral candidates earlier in the year."
"This is the first real test of those Councillors who signed the Ratepayers’ Protection pledge and ran on a platform of low rates. Councillors Desley Simpson, Christine Fletcher, Dick Quax, Mike Lee and Greg Sayers are among those who pledged to keep annual rate hikes at 2% or less. Tomorrow we get to see who stands by their word and votes on the low-rates platform they stood on.”