Poms come up with a great policy to limit rates increases

The poms were even more pissed off with their councils than we are, so they introduced a cracker of a law about increases to their equivalent of rates.

Dozens of councils are preparing to defy the Government?s council tax freeze, including many in Conservative heartlands.

A survey by The Telegraph found that at least 30 Tory-led local authorities are planning to reject demands to freeze tax rates this year.

They are among 60 across England who say they intend to increase bills from April ? including almost half of the country?s 27 county councils.

The Government has said councils should help taxpayers with the cost of living and ministers will be particularly concerned in the run-up to the general election in May.

Eric Pickles, the Local Government Secretary, said residents should ?demand an explanation? if councils refused the freeze.

He accused some of being ?democracy dodgers? for planning to push up rates by 1.99 per cent, shy of the 2 per cent threshold at which they would have to hold a referendum. ?

This would be a fantastic policy to have here, as it would stop the councils doing exceptionally stupid things because there is no way in hell voters would vote for a rates rise of greater than 2%.

Imagine what this would do to Len Brown and Auckland.

There are a few?of things needed for local government reform in New Zealand.

The first is the power of recall and recall elections. The USA has them, Canada has them, and the UK is getting them. This would allow citizens to remove ratbag mayors and councillors instead of waiting 3 years.

The second would be to adopt a measure like that above or a Ratepayers Bill of Rights or RABOR…one that puts limits on what councils can spend our rates on without going back to the people for permission.

The last thing would be to remove the “general competence” provisions that saw councils across the nation borrow willy-nilly and lock ratepayers into a massive debt burden.


– The Telegraph