Rate rise ques­tioned

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

I at­tended a sub­mis­sion by the Porirua Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Group to Porirua City Coun­cil’s draft an­nual plan on May 20, and found it very in­ter­est­ing.

A coun­cil­lor asked about the im­pact that bet­ter budget con­trol may have on staff num­bers at Porirua City Coun­cil.

In 2000, the coun­cil had a ra­tio of one full­time em­ployee to ev­ery 178 res­i­dents. By 2011 this had changed to one full­time em­ployee to ev­ery 123 res­i­dents.

I do not know what ra­tio is best, but this trend is un­sus­tain­able. Coun­cil­lors’ obli­ga­tions should be to en­cour­age all em­ploy­ment within Porirua, so long as they are long-term jobs based on ef­fi­ciency and ef­fec­tive­ness.

An­other coun­cil­lor asked about our use of the Con­sumer Price In­dex and the Wages In­dex and sug­gested that the Lo­cal Body Price In­dex would be more ap­pro­pri­ate.

Coun­cil­lors should first rep­re­sent res­i­dents’ in­ter­ests.

Re­gard­less of other fac­tors, the Wage In­dex and Con­sumer Price In­dex re­flect the abil­ity of res­i­dents and businesses to pay rates.

Just be­cause the Govern­ment gives wider re­spon­si­bil­ity to the coun­cil, this should not trans­late into the un­sus­tain­able rates in­creases we have had since 2000.

Coun­cil­lors should stand up to the Govern­ment on be­half of res­i­dents and say that they will not in­crease rates above the abil­ity of res­i­dents to pay.

In 2012 a Porirua City Coun­cil home­owner paid 22 per cent more rates to the Porirua coun­cil than the owner of a house in Tawa of sim­i­lar value paid to the Welling­ton coun­cil. That needs to be ad­dressed.

It should also be noted that Welling­ton fi­nalised res­i­den­tial in­creases at 2.3 per cent for the up­com­ing year while Porirua is propos­ing 5.3 per cent.

Good on Tim Shep­pard for ques­tion­ing the pro­posed rise in rates and ask­ing ques­tions.

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