Simon Wilson, the sacked editor of Metro, has written a column on their website defending Len Brown and the Terrible Ten.
In his column he blatantly misleads with some of his claims.
It is his attempt to lay blame on the government rather than on the idiot mayor.
The rates rises have three main drivers. One is the rising cost of services. The council is indeed responsible for managing that.
The second is the targeted transport levy. This was not the council’s choice. It wanted a user pays approach, with motorway tolls and/or some other kind of levy on those who use the roads. But that requires a law change and the government said no.
So the council had a choice: either scrap its plans for addressing the transport crisis, or load the cost onto rates.
Was scrapping the plans even a real option? Council officers warned of dire consequences for the city’s economic health if the council voted down the budget. And we already know that transport infrastructure will soon fail if funding for public transport, especially rapid transit, is not boosted.
Councillors who voted against the budget have not proposed useful alternatives, but have instead succumbed to narrow political opportunism and/or their own fears of a voter backlash.