The six People's Choice councillors release an alternative plan to privatisation and massive rates rises.

 THE SIX PEOPLE'S CHOICE councillors on the Christchurch City have put forward an alternative plan to the proposed sale of council assets and massive rates hikes.

They point out that the chief feature of the proposed long term plan is a capital works programme of $4.68b over a period of ten years.

As well as proposing to fund this with a privatisation programme of an estimated $750 million (and it most likely will stop there), the Christchurch City Council would borrow  up to $2.38b by 2020. And rates would increase 75 percent over ten years.

The People's Choice councillors say this plan is "risky and unaffordable' and have put forward an alternative plan that rejects asset sales and does not place the burden of massive rates increases on the shoulders of ratepayers already struggling in the economic aftermath of the quakes.

That plan proposes concentrating on urgent and essential rebuild work and cutting $700 million from a capital works programme that the councillors point is already behind schedule by $450 milion.

There would be no asset sales - which would provide an income of some $230 million over ten years.

The money saved will be used to reduce borrowing (saving hundreds of millions in interest ) and to speed up the repair of roads.

The government would also be asked to partner with the Christchurch City Council and the people of Christchurch by redirecting the money allocated for a large sports stadium toward the repair of the reading system instead.

It would also be asked to pay its share of unfunded earthquake repair, which is approximately $180 million.

The People's Choice councillors say that the new plan "would remove the sense of crisis  - the Council will not be in danger of breaching its debt ceiling or losing its credit rating."
You can download the full plan here.


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