Mayoral candidate Vic Crone plans to lead a line-item review of council spending
Auckland Mayoral candidate Vic Crone’s fiscal plan involves lifting council performance in four key areas: keeping residential rates as low as possible, cutting wasteful spending, reducing staff costs and paying down debt faster— essentials that council needs to get right.
As part of a plan to find $500 million in savings Vic will impose a Mayor-led Line-Item Review programme across council.
“Last year ratepayers faced a 9.9 per cent average rates increase, for some it was a shocking 15 per cent. If council isn’t being cost-effective, timely and smart with its spending, it’s downright outrageous to expect more from ratepayers.”
Vic will also focus on reducing back-office waste, more efficient procurement and cutting duplication. As a start, Vic will reduce staff costs by 5–10 per cent over the next three years and cap staff numbers at current levels, saving up to $80 million.
“It’s concerning that every year for the last three years council has exceeded its staff cost budget line by over $50 million. I will put a stop to this trend while protecting frontline staff, core services and key capital investments.”
Vic says any additional operating surpluses will be prioritised toward paying down debt faster than forecast.
“I understand even with minor changes in interest rates, council could breach the 12 per cent interest payments to revenue cap under its current debt management strategy. I’ll ensure council is repaying debt above the current plan target and impose a review of this strategy to better protect Auckland’s interests. Council can be a high-performing organisation that delivers real results for ratepayers and is ahead of the game. I have the strong leadership, fresh ideas and energy to get there and it starts by getting the basics in order.”