Of course they are opposed to a referendum

Auckland Council and Len brown are running at a hundred miles an hour away from giving citizens of Auckland a say on how they want to tax us for using roads we have already paid for.

Auckland Council staff are opposing a public referendum on whether to charge motorway tolls or raise fuel taxes and rates to fill a multibillion-dollar transport funding gap as allegedly too costly and confusing.

An Auckland-wide referendum on ways of raising an extra $300 million a year would cost $1.5 million and the timetable for running it ahead of long-term budget decisions needed by early May would be very tight, says a staff report to councillors.

The report, which councillors will consider on Thursday, also says a referendum would not replace the council’s obligation to consult on transport funding options before setting its 10-year budget.

Running two processes asking about the same issue was likely to be “confusing for Aucklanders.”

It says a consultation document for the budget will be delivered to each household for feedback in any case, and recommends a “statistically reliable and independent” survey if councillors want greater clarity about public opinion after that.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown opposed the idea of a referendum last month, when an advisory group presented the council with options of either a motorway toll averaging $2 or higher fuel taxes and rates, saying he expected tens of thousands of people to make their views clear in submissions to the long-term budget.    Read more »


Len Brown strangles “most livable city” plan

It’s all on in the quest to squeeze money out of everything to get his train set built.   Now Len is going to put a huge dent in the hospitality industry.

Cafes and restaurants face higher costs to put tables and chairs outdoors under Auckland Council plans to recover a full rental for use of public space for street trading.

However, some cafe owners say the plan threatens to put a damper on the streetside dining atmosphere.

Their businesses would not be able to afford to put out tables and customers would refuse to pay an “outdoor surcharge”.

In a proposal to the council’s budget committee meeting yesterday, council staff said rent rises of more than $1000 for some street cafes would boost council coffers by about $1.2 million in 2015/16.

Rents on footpath space were brought in by only some of the region’s former councils and now staff wanted a uniform street trading bylaw with consistent licensing fees and a regional rental.

The proposal is that all street traders pay $360 a year for a licence plus a rent based on the commercial value of the space they use.

This means the highest rentals will be in the central city and graduated for popular suburban strips and shopping centres with fewer customers.

Yeah, you wouldn’t expect Len to take fees away, would you?  He’s squeezing the last drop out of everything he can find.   Read more »

Len Brown breaks yet another promise, ratchets rates ever higher

Len Brown has become the lying Mayor.

Another of his election promises has gone by the wayside as his council keeps on increasing rates rather than reining in spending.

Auckland Council’s budget committee has voted 16-7 for a proposal to increase rates by 3.5 per cent for each year of a new 10-year budget.

The proposal got the backing of Mayor Len Brown, who promised voters to hold rates at 2.5 per cent this term.

This is on top of the massive rates rises of the last 3 years, some way more than 10% but capped under now expired legislation. Remember too that this is average rates rises of 3.5%, there will be some with even higher rates rises.

These are the tax, spend and hope councillors.

For a 3.5 per cent increase: Len Brown, Penny Webster, Arthur Anae, Cathy Casey, Bill Cashmore, Ross Clow, Linda Cooper, Chris Darby, Alf Filipaina, Penny Hulse, Mike Lee, Calum Penrose, John Walker, Wayne Walker and Maori Statutory Board members David Taipari and John Tamihere.

Read more »

Come hell or high water, Len Brown’s coming for more money

He’s amazingly stubborn our Len.  He’s come up with a new way not to make rates go up.  Invent a new one

Aucklanders could pay a new charge on top of rates to fund transport projects.

A “targeted rate” is one option being considered by an independent group looking at alternative funding measures to plug a $12 billion-plus transport funding gap over the next 30 years.

Evaluating road tolls and fuel-tax rises and traditional funding methods such as rate rises and targeted rates is the job of the group due to report to the council next month.

The Herald understands that the independent alternative transport funding group is leaning towards motorway tolls. It will also provide options for targeted rates and extra rates rises.

On Wednesday, Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee reiterated the Government’s pre-election position that there would be no regional fuel taxes or tolling of existing state highways in Auckland.

Auckland Council cannot introduce motorway tolls or a regional fuel tax without government approval.

Len needs $12 billion.  And he’s coming to get it come hell or high water.  Thank goodness he can’t introduce transport related taxes / levies / rates without government approval, otherwise you wouldn’t need an iPredict stock to tell you what would happen.   Read more »

UNITE Union’s Regressive Tax On Their Members

The Unite Union love to put it about that they are New Zealand’s most far left Union.  But have a look at their fee tax structure for their 7,000 members.

Their poorest members pay a whopping 2% of their income in fees tax.

The wealthiest pay just .7% of their income in fees tax.

Rather than have a progressive system that they promote for everyone else in New Zealand their own system is purely regressive to a flat fee maximum tax.

Matt McCarten and David Cunliffe need to have a wee sit down and develop Labour’s taxation policy along the same lines.  It promises to be a vote winner in Epsom.

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 2.24.55 pm Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 2.24.48 pm


A Labour party policy we can all agree with

Finally a Labour party policy we can agree with…cutting taxes…oh wait it is UK Labour not the Labour party in NZ.

George Osborne should cut income tax in next week’s Budget to kick-start Britain’s economy, the shadow chancellor tells the Daily Telegraph.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Ed Balls insists that a cut in the basic rate of income tax — funded by a temporary rise in borrowing — would ultimately pay for itself as it would spark economic growth.

He says “something must be done now” as Britain is facing an economic depression “like the 1930s”.  Read more »


Poor Little Britain

Imagine a 40 per cent marginal tax rate

In the hope of raising ÂŁ3.3billion by 2018, Mr Osborne announced he would limit the size of the increase in the personal tax thresholds.

Currently, everyone can earn ÂŁ8,105 without paying a penny of tax. For the next ÂŁ34,370 they earn they pay income tax of 20 per cent.

This means that once they have a salary of ÂŁ42,475, they would pay 40 per cent income tax for every additional pound they earn.

Quite why you would stay in England paying for bludging ferals to breed in their Council houses to get hit with a 40 per cent marginal rate at around NZ$80k I do not and never will, understand.


Best and Silliest Tweet of The Day

Sam Morgan has a deluded view of the world at the best of times.  You know this when even Trevor Mallard has to point out the obvious to you.

First up Sam astutely tweets

But then his solution is daft.  So daft even Mallard can see it.

Problem with this is that Mallard wants a capital gains tax (as does the Morgan’s).  That will not make homes easier to purchase either.

Another example as to why Labour should not be allowed near the Treasury benches again and why Sam Morgan needs to be told to stay out of politics.


Green Surveys Are Pointless Without Costs

Homepaddock makes a very good point.  Everyone is in favour of a cleaner, greener New Zealand.  No one seems happy to discuss if they want to pay for it.

The survey didn’t say if it asked respondents if they would be happy to pay for these incentives, nor if they were already doing what they could to support clean industries and technologies.

Saying they support incentives is along way away from paying for them and given how few of us actually pay net tax a good proportion of recipients wouldn’t be expecting to contribute themselves.

A very long way.

Brown wants to tax us more

ᔥ NewstalkZB

Len Brown looks set to campaign on taxing Aucklanders more. Len Brown seeks to make Auckland the world’s most livable city but is actually setting us up to be the world’s most livid city. Looking after his mates with cushy deals, profligate spending on the V8s and massive rates hikes are making us all livid, now he wants to ramp up the anger by taxing us to drive on roads we have already paid for:

Auckland’s mayor is confident planned transport projects for the city can be delivered.

The projects include a second harbour crossing and the inner city rail link.

Len Brown’s announced three funding options he’s seeking more information on – congestion and network charges, regional fuel tax, and additional carpark charges.

He says he was voted in with a mandate to sort out Auckland’s transport problems.

He says it’s critical to go for the best option with the best technology.

Mr Brown says the council hopes to take a funding proposal to the Government in a year’s time.

Mr Brown also had a mandate to hold a referendum on Maori seats but somehow doesn’t feel obligated to deliver on that.