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Source: Taxpayers Union

Wellington Mayor Andy Foster’s plan to cover revenue shortfalls through borrowing without cutting low priority spending is immoral, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.“Businesses and households across the country are meeting financial challenges by cutting their cloth, not by running to the bank. Councils need to do the same,” says Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke.“Borrowing more today just means more rates tomorrow.”“There are countless areas where the Council now has capacity to cut spending. For example, the closure of cafes and bars means less work for inspectors. The same goes for planners who now face fewer building applications to process. The Council ought to remember that its first responsibility is to serve ratepayers, not shield its own employees from the effects of an economic crisis.”“More generally, the council should be looking at across-the-board pay cuts, especially for those on high salaries. Bosses in the private sector are taking haircuts, and there’s no reason council management should be special in this regard.”“And low-priority capital projects should be deferred, not brought forward in the name of ‘economic stimulus’. Stimulus policy is the job of the Reserve Bank and central government, not local politicians. In any case, economic stimulus funded by rates – which are not tied to a household’s ability to pay – is counterproductive.”“The Taxpayers’ Union congratulates the 12 Wellington City councillors petitioning for a rates freeze. However, these councillors need to follow through with constructive suggestions on how to slash low-priority spending, rather just than kicking the rates can down the road.”