These steep rises are not the end of the story. When capital revaluation of properties has been completed and taken into account who knows whether or not you’ll be able to afford this year’s increase. If properties have risen 10% in the three years since the last revaluation, then this increase will be on reflected in even higher rates.
The big questions I have are WHY has Waiheke been targeted and WHAT do we get out of it?
What are our rates for? We get little value out of the vast sums paid for roads, rail and motorways on the isthmus. We have very limited, very expensive, access to the many arts and recreational facilities available to most Aucklanders, we get no subsidised ferry services, unlike other commuter ferry runs. I could go on.
So it’s all a bit rich when the Mayor puts up those nasty Little Jack Horner thumbs of his in the photo in Herald this morning to brag about his big pay rise taking his salary to a whopping $259,000 p.a. I expect it’s because he thinks he’s been such a ‘good boy’ to deserve the extra salary plums: a view not shared by the majority of Aucklanders.
The pay rises for Mr Brown and councillors (3.4%) are higher than increases in the labour cost index of 1.7 per cent for private sector salary and wage rates and 1.2 per cent for the public sector. The figures are for the year to March. The consumers price index rose 1.5 per cent over that time. The pay rises come into effect on July 1, the same day average household rates rise by 3.6 per cent.
And why isn't our Councillor Mike Lee, Councillor for Hauraki Gulf and Waitemata Wards, standing up for his Waiheke constituents? Because he's got too many thumbs in too many pies, that's why. At a Board meeting I asked him to explain last year’s outrageous rises, almost the highest in Auckland. He didn’t even know what I was talking about. In fact he all but called me a liar when I told him the facts. But why would he bother himself about the plight of his constituents when he’s got the benefit of two salaries, one from Auckland Council, one for being on the Board of Auckland Transport, plus extra for his chairmanship of the Infrastructure Committee. No, Mike doesn’t need to bother his economically illiterate head about such things because, like the Mayor, his thumbs are covered in plums.
They’re the ‘I’m all right Jacks’ of Auckland. We’re just the jackasses who put them there.