Phil Goff has spent more on reports on how to save money than the Council has actually saved

The Auckland Ratepayer’s Alliance has all the details:

Remember how Phil Goff committed to tackle wasteful spending at the Council?  Last year he promised to find savings between 3 and 6% of the Council’s budget.

It seems Mr Goff is all talk and no trousers.  According to McGredy Winder & Co (a consultancy firm which is led by former senior staff from Len Brown’s office) the Council’s latest budget “was the most fiscally lax approach that has been seen in an annual plan to date.”

In their latest ‘Town Hall’ update to corporate subscribers, they said of the budget:

To be honest, if you are even remotely a fiscal conservative who thinks Auckland Council needs to tighten up its ship, it was an absolute shocker.  

Internal council documents provided to the Town Hall show that the efficiency savings achieved during the 2017 budget process were a meagre $11.3 million (in the context of a $3.8 billion operating expenditure budget). To put this another way, Mayor Goff’s first annual budget delivered efficiency savings of 0.30%.

So that is bad enough – Mr Goff only found 0.3% of spending to cut. But they find that half of even that paltry $11 million came from Auckland Transport (which can be done by capitalising some operating expenditure). How much came from the Council itself:

The truly staggering number though, is the savings generated within the Council organisation itself. From its $2.957 billion operating budget, the cost cutting crusader of a Mayor managed to find $800,000 in savings. Despite all the Mayors huffing, all of his puffing, he could only drag 0.03% of savings out of Council’s bureaucracy.

Let’s put that into context. Say you are in a household spending $100,000 a year. Things are tight so you need to save money. This is equivalent to reducing your annual household spend from $100,000 to $99,970.

And finally to add insult to injury:

The budget includes an additional $1.2 million for 17A cost efficiency reviews (that were discussed in the March edition). So, the initial budget impact of the Mayor’s much heralded efficiency drive, in the financial year that starts tomorrow, is to increase costs by $1.2 million. For lovers of the slap stick, that is 50% more than the council organisation managed to capture as efficiency gains during the budget round.

$1.2 million spent, $800,000 saved. Speaks for itself.

Of course, your humble Ratepayers’ Alliance offered to help find efficiencies in the lead up to the finalisation of the Budget. But Councillor’s didn’t want to hear our suggestions.

Tell me again how Phil Goff was a good idea.


-Auckland Ratepayer’s Alliance

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.