Media Statement: Wellington Chamber of Commerce

Monday 14th March 2016

Chamber surprised at $4m added to wish-list

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Wellington Chamber of Commerce is surprised that city councillors want to add more than $4 million of extra spending into the 2016/17 annual plan just 11 months after the 10-year plan was put together.

Chief Executive John Milford says he expected some bids to be submitted for the annual plan, but not of that magnitude and such a short time after the Long Term Plan (LTP) was set.

“There should always be room for movement – room to include new and pressing items that have arisen in the meantime – but so much just 11 months after the LTP was set seems to be more than a little ambitious, maybe even reckless.

“This $4 million wish-list is projected to push the city’s rates bill up to 3.8 per cent at a time when core inflation is running very low, at just 1.6 per cent, and councillors should have been aware of that.

“The LTP was an exhaustive and rigorous process which was designed to cover off a whole range of projects into the future, but this latest wish-list makes you wonder why they bothered.

“We expect the LTP to be subject to revision as things crop up, but so much so soon?

“Most councillors had something new to add but where were the corresponding reductions to pay for them?

“It must be election year.”

For more information contact Brent Webling, 021 821 383

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