The revelation that Auckland Transport has less money for capital works this year, as admitted by its Chief Executive David Warburton today, shows that too much ratepayer money is being wasted by an inefficient Council operation. Jo Holmes, spokesperson for the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance says:
“On the same day tens of thousands of commuters are in gridlock thanks to Auckland Transport’s failure to protect Tamaki Drive from seasonal flooding, we learn that the transport levy is a fraud. Len Brown said the transport levy was a necessary pain to get Auckland moving. In reality the skyrocketing rates are being soaked up by a bloated Council with high operating and staffing costs."
"It is simply shameful that transport capital expenditure has actually reduced. It’s time the Council got back to basics, slashed its bloated op-ex budgets and spent our money on capital projects which get Auckland moving."
Mr Warburton said an interim targeted rate for transport of $114 for households in the new budget brought the base budget which was a few hundred million dollars less than what we were doing "back up to about where we are at".
"The challenge is there are a lot of people outside this room who think we have got an accelerated programme from what we have been doing in the past few years.
That is not the case," Mr Warburton said.
The targeted rate has been sold to ratepayers by Auckland Council as funding for an accelerated transport programme. It follows earlier cuts by the council to the transport budget.
Auckland Ratepayers' Alliance spokeswoman Jo Holmes said it was shameful that transport capital spending had been reduced.
Revelations Auckland Transport has a funding gap of about $300 million a year for capital works and is not working on an accelerated programme has alarmed Auckland councillor Cameron Brewer and the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance.
Alliance spokeswoman Jo Holmes says Auckland Transport chief executive David Warburton’s comments to councillors that the council-controlled organisation didn’t have enough money to accommodate growth and catch-up shows too much ratepayers’ money is being wasted on an inefficient council operation.
Once again ratepayers have been sold a pup with the transport levy, but then we all knew that didn’t we.