Big spending cuts on council agenda
Major cuts are being signalled in Auckland City Council’s budget for the next financial year.
Tough decisions will have to be made in order to keep rates in check, says finance and strategy committee chairman Doug Armstrong.
“We’re going to have to examine every line of expenditure.
“It’s not going to be easy and not everyone’s going to be happy,” Mr Armstrong says.
The majority Citizens & Ratepayers ticket campaigned on a promise to hold rate increases at council’s rate of inflation, last year 5.1 percent.
The previous council had forecast a rates hike of more than 10 percent in the 20092010 financial year.
Mr Armstrong says at least $20 million will need to be cut from operating expenditure to bring the increase down.
Cuts and changes will be required in the council’s 10year plan as well.
“We’ve got to do it to follow through on our election manifesto,” Mr Armstrong says.
Earlier reports on possible cuts to asset management plans have already caused controversy.
Projects and services under threat include Avondale’s proposed $15m public pool.
Mr Armstrong says it’s too early to comment on what projects could be cut.
“We won’t be making any pronouncements about what’s in or out at this stage.”
Papers from chief executive David Rankin are to be released today setting out the council’s finances for the coming year.
The papers were originally due out on Tuesday.
Councillors will begin budget talks at direction setting meetings on October 7 and November 18.