Mayor Sideshow Bob Parker and his eleven councillors have approved a massive TWENTY-FOUR percent increase in council rents.
City council tenants are largely on low and fixed incomes – low waged jobs, pensions, welfare benefits, etc.
One councillor, Chrisse Williams, has spoken out about the increase:
"Twenty four percent in one year is too great. We're talking about people who are in our housing units who are on low incomes and on fixed incomes."
Sideshow Bob- a man driving around in a $90,000 Audi sports car - argues that if previous councils had not continously sidelined the issue then such a massive increase would not have had to occur.
This was more Bob bullshit but more on that later.
What Sideshow didn’t say is that all but one of his present councillors were on the previous council that failed to address the issue.
One such culprit is Councillor Barry Corbett – but that hasn’t stopped him from pompously defending the massive rent increase.
"If we do it in two years time it's going to be even worse, so let's bite the bullet and do it now," said Corbett.
One wonders what Corbett has been doing for the past three years.
And what is all this about us ‘biting the bullet’? Corbett, who is on a salary of some $83,000, won’t be biting any bullet. In fact, he’s off to China in a fortnight (along with Sideshow Bob) on a $20,000 jaunt – paid for by the Christchurch ratepayer.
Councillor Sue Wells told the council meeting that she was 'struggling' with a 24 percent increase - but still voted for it. More empty words from the lazy Councillor Wells.
The increase is seven times the rate of inflation.
As the former Alliance MP Dr Liz Gordon has pointed out this decision was an insult to local democracy. No alternatives were explored and only the 24 percent increase proposal was presented at the meeting - indeed the first councillors knew about this proposal was a week ago.
In fact Sideshow deliberately orchestrated procedures to prevent any alternatives being presented.
Council housing pays for itself but money is apparently required for maintenance and upgrade work. Sideshow claimed there was nowhere else the money could come from - but money is available for housing through central government.
No, this decision was also ideologically-driven because the right wing Sideshow Bob believes in such monetarist dogma as 'users pays' - a dogma that continues to screw working class New Zealanders. Sideshow Bob wouldn't know about that though - he counts among his 'friends' well-heeled property developers.
This attack on some of Christchurch's most economically disadvantaged citizens was steered through by Sideshow Bob backed by cronies like Corbett and Wells.
As an aside, Barry Corbett said his 'conscience was clear' because council tenants would still pay a smaller proportion of their income in rent than he paid for his mortgage.
Corbett lives in one of the more 'select' areas of Christchuch and his house is valued at well over $300,000. He also owns a holiday cottage on Banks Peninsula. Is Barry Corbett a wanker? Yes, he is.
If you want to tell Sideshow Bob what you think of him you can contact him here: