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Ratepayers need competent councils, not more debt – New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union

Responding to calls by councils including Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga for their debt caps to be raised, Taxpayers’ Union Policy and Public Affairs Manager, James Ross, said:

“Sometimes it makes sense to use debt to spread the cost of an investment over time. But neither blown-out staff budgets nor wasting hundreds of millions on unwanted vanity projects like the Wellington Town Hall justify raising the debt ceiling.

“The argument that ratepayers need to be lumbered with more debt to tackle the infrastructure deficit just doesn’t hold water. Despite spending more than the OECD median on infrastructure, New Zealand is near the bottom 10% in terms of the bang-for-buck we get from every dollar spent.

“The issue isn’t lack of money, it’s lack of competence. Bureaucracy and red tape get in the way of upgrading our infrastructure, and councils serious about future-proofing need to pull out the big scissors and cut these obstacles out the way.”


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