An Increase is Not a Saving

Rodney Hide on the benefits of his “Super City” before the merger.

There will clearly be substantial savings in the years ahead from the slimmed-down council.

This is what actually happened – Mayor Len Brown in the Draft Annual Plan Summary.

And after the amalgamation that would have seen a 9.4 per cent rate increase, we are working to identify efficiencies to bring that down to 4.9 per cent

Rodney, however, still kept singing the same tune.

By removing the duplication of functions across the previous eight councils, the unified council structure means ratepayers will enjoy a massive $65.5 million saving from a 13% drop in staffing levels – this will increase to 16% , or a $91 million annual saving, by the end of the transition period in July 2012 … Aucklanders can expect a rates increase 2.1% lower than the 6.1% average increase projected by the old councils.

If you went to a car yard and saw a car at $30,000, and then went back a month later and saw the same car (a pedant might say a larger, less responsive car) now labelled with “Massive $5,000 saving – only $35,000 for this car!” you would think the salesman fucked in the head if the excuse he came up with was that “you’re saving $5,000 because we could have increased the price to $40,000″.

If Auckland ratepayers suffered by having too many council staff, then wouldn’t your first thought be “what are all those staff doing, and do they need to be or doing it?”, especially if you are the leader of a party whose stated goal with local government is to Abolish the local government power of general competency, wouldn’t you think? Coming up with the solution “Let’s make a council bigger than the Moon, that still does the same stuff poorly - Part of the “$60 million investing in IT to run the new council and its support structures” certainly didn’t include replacing the random number generator that councils used to work out Resource Consent and Development Contribution charges - and increases rates higher than the rate of inflation” would be a fucked in the head solution.

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Filed under ACT, Local Government, Politics

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