NBR: Auckland’s Mayor Can’t Say No To Extra Spending!

14 December 2021. ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’† ๐‘ช๐’๐’Š๐’Ž๐’‚๐’•๐’† ๐‘จ๐’„๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐‘ป๐’‚๐’“๐’ˆ๐’†๐’•๐’†๐’… ๐‘น๐’‚๐’•๐’† ๐’Š๐’” ๐’‚ ๐’“๐’‚๐’•๐’† ๐’“๐’Š๐’”๐’† ๐’Š๐’ ๐’…๐’Š๐’”๐’ˆ๐’–๐’Š๐’”๐’†. National Business Review (NBR). Reporter: Tim Hunter. Extract:

“Depressingly though, a majority of councillors on Wednesday voted down an attempt to offer Aucklanders another option (other than the Mayor adding another tax on ratepayers to fund reducing carbon emissions from Council services) โ€“ by cutting spending on something else.

This alternative was put forward by ๐‚๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐œ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ๐จ๐ซ ๐†๐ซ๐ž๐  ๐’๐š๐ฒ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ …in an amendment to the Mayoral proposal. (The amendment was to add a question asking the people of Auckland if the Mayor’s idea of a targeted rate should be dropped as carbon emission reduction, and minimizing air pollution in general, is business-as-usual for Council and should be funded from the ๐ž๐ฑ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ ๐ž๐ง๐ž๐ซ๐š๐ฅ ๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ฌ and not from yet another additional tax/targeted rate).

Judging by the reaction, many of his colleagues struggled to comprehend the idea of cutting spending elsewhere to meet this new expenditure โ€“ a move estimated to require a rejig of about $58m a year. [Council’s budget is $4.9 billion/ year].

Revisiting the budget would open a whole new can of worms, they suggested. Far better not to mention the possibility and wait to see if it came up in submissions.

The amendment was defeated by ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ– ๐ฏ๐จ๐ญ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž.

However, in refusing to consider cutting its own spending to make room for Goffโ€™s new measures, the council is simply passing the buck and asking ratepayers to make their own cuts if they want to get the goodies.

Itโ€™s a pattern of behaviour weโ€™ve seen from the council for years and it has to stop. At some point, no amount of standing over people shouting ‘it’s only another dollar a week’ is going to work.”

All the councillors agreed the idea of introducing any new climate change targeted rate should be open to public feedback – but five of them hoped Aucklanders would agree that reducing carbon emissions, and air pollution in general, should be part of Council’s everyday thinking, actions and decision-making ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ง๐๐ž๐ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ž๐ฑ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ ๐ž๐ง๐ž๐ซ๐š๐ฅ ๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ฌ.

Feedback on the Mayors Budget, and rate increases, for next year will be open between 28 February and 28 March 2022.NBR is a subscription based newspaper. ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐š๐ซ๐ญ๐ข๐œ๐ฅ๐ž ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐›๐ž ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ ๐š๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐ค: https://bit.ly/3lRkmfN