RATES BRAKE REQUIRED
Palmerston North City Council has again pushed unaffordable rates increases onto ratepayers, leading to homeowners’ and renters’ costs rising.
In the past five years not one city councillor has voted against these exorbitant rates increases with an almost 25 per cent compound increase over that time.
The ongoing system is disproportionately affecting those most vulnerable and with least income.
The last census identified that almost 40 per cent of Palmerston North’s population survive predominantly on New Zealand superannuation/veterans pension, unemployment, sickness, domestic purposes, student allowance or other government payment or pension, while 7 per cent of people declared no source of income.
The consequence is increased distress to many thousands of people, particularly families/ children, and elderly citizens.
For 39.9 per cent of people aged 15 plus, their annual income was a mere $20,000 (before tax) or less.
PNCC spent over $38 million on staff/wages for their 512 employees and consultants/ professional service type costs in the 2014/2015 financial year. This equates to over 61.16 per cent of the general residential rates take in the same year. The servicing of gross debt in the past 10 to 11 years has been over $95 million.
It is time for PNCC to be transparent and accountable in respect to what the gross debt and interest payments are annually, and for people to contact all sitting councillors and prospective candidates in this year’s local elections to identify who will stop this injustice perpetrated on the people.
Martin Egan, Palmerston North