At this time of uncertainty, the Council must balance the requirement of exercising fiscal responsibility with the need to continue to invest in key infrastructure projects.
Given the current environment of unprecedented uncertainty, we recommend:
- delaying rates increases
- maintaining the UAGC as it currently stands
- abolishing rates differentials
- making a better use of alternative funding tools, when appropriate, and focusing on core services
- leveraging the Government’s depreciation policy to support ratepayers and the property sector
- deferring proposed development contribution increases to accurately reflect the recent Government’s support for ‘shovel-ready’ projects
- delaying the proposed development contribution increase until the LTP 2021-31 in which case the Council will be in a better position to reassess its budget and capital programme.
These actions are necessary to assist all ratepayers during the economic impact of COVID-19, as they have a big role to play in lifting our country out of recession during these uncertain times. These actions will also enable the Council to better accommodate growth and provide much needed infrastructure in the future.