19 December 2018. Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has released details of Auckland Council’s proposed spending plan for 2019 to 2020. Mr Goff has dubbed it his “deliver-it” budget.
The budget includes a promise all Auckland Council staff will have their wages increased to the “living wage” and operational savings will be made of $23 million to achieve a 4% savings for the term. The term being the 3-year election term which equates to average savings of 1.3% a year.
Alarm bells are ringing for Auckland Councillor Greg Sayers who says at election time the Mayor promised to make between 3 to 6% savings a year and a savings target of 1.3% is well below that promise.
Furthermore, he says Goff is incapable of delivering to a budget. “The Mayor’s track record shows the Council has only delivered 0.3% in savings so Aucklander’s have little faith if the Mayor’s promised savings will ever be delivered.”
Cr Sayers says Auckland Council’s debt has increased to $12.6 billion which was a 9.3 percent increase against a budgeted increase of 5.5 percent.
As a result, the Council is spending $472 million financing its debt which is $7 million over budget.
Auckland Council’s day-to-day operating expenses are $3.88 billion which is $77 million over budget.
The total number of staff have increased to 10,259 up 196 from last year with those on salaries of over $100,000 increasing by 223 to 2,473. Staff costs were $2 million over budget.
“These inconvenient trends have not been addressed by the Mayor’s budget,” says Cr Sayers. “Regrettably for Auckland the current political leadership seems incapable of delivering on cost control and efficiencies.”