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Sunday, August 06, 2006

ACT Fighting For Ratepayers

With the Labour Government hamstrung by coalition partners United Future and NZ First, the socialists are increasingly using local government to impoverish and regulate the populace. Record rate rises are really hurting and increasingly restrictive land use policies are driving the price of residential land through the roof.

ACT is the only political party with concrete proposals to bring local government to heel. Clearly local government must be forced to budget, just like households do. By limiting local government's revenue, ratepayers can more readily force councils to stick to basics and abandon their outrageous socialist projects

ACT Proposes to cap rates rises at the level of inflation plus 2 per cent in any one year. Leader Rodney Hide has a private member’s bill proposing the cap which faces a vote in three weeks. Supported to select committee by National, Maori Party and United Future. NZ First vote, as yet undecided, will determine whether it gets to select committee.

This bill deserves the support of all ratepayers. To find out more about ACT's ratecapping campaign, checkout to our new website.


Blogger Aaron Bhatnagar said...

The "Tell Us" link doesn't work.

A pity you guys missed the Herald's focus on rates for all of last week. The website would have chimed in nicely with the C&R Now site and the one set up by an angry North Shore resident.

While the bill has an admirable intention, I have to say that if people want to vote in high rates politicians, they should have the right to do so. It would be better if instead of brutally limiting the rates increases, ACT proposed a repeal of those laws that burden local government with extra costs, such as Dog microchipping, brothel laws etc. Then there may not be a need for such a law.

It principle, I think its far better than central govt stick to its business and local govt stick to their business. Forcing local govt to limiting rates hikes through legislation is in some ways as bad as forcing local govt to pay heed to compliance costs from daft laws.

4:22 PM  
Blogger Aaron Bhatnagar said...

= the "download the bill", plus "Read the Bills digest" links don't work either. C'mon guys, you must be paying people to do this!

4:24 PM  
Blogger andrewfalloon said...

Worked fine for me...

11:42 AM  
Blogger Aaron Bhatnagar said...

it was fixed late last night I believe.

1:10 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Aaron, the idea of ACT's Bill is limit local government wastefulness by limiting their revenue supply.

It is similar to ACT's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights which would freeze government spending at current levels unless a 75% majority in parliament could be obtained to lift it.

That figure probably only being possible in emergencies or war time.

You can tinker round the fringes but if want to bring government to heel you must go for the jugular-their revenue stream.

3:21 PM  
Blogger Aaron Bhatnagar said...

Hi Trevor,

Again, the point I make is that people ought to be free enough to elect in governments that increase taxes/rates, no matter how much I dislike the thought. Cutting off the ability for council to pay for the things that central government forces onto it is equally a form of tinkering by central government.

Having said that, it is helpful to the overall debate about rates to have this issue in the public eye.

10:07 PM  
Blogger andrewfalloon said...


I think a big part of the problem lies in the fact that many Councillors are elected (often through no fault of their own) without the public really knowing where they stand on major issues such as Council spending. While this may not be so much of a problem in Auckland where there are more clearly defined political tickets, in many areas a District may elect a Council who will massively overspend, and have to put up with them for a full three years before voting them out.

I would also add that it is wrong for central government to be simply passing more responsibility onto local government, while tax coffers swell and ratepayers are forced to bear the costs.

10:42 PM  

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