Oil price rises are the single biggest factor in a proposed rates increase discussed today by the Greater Wellington Regional Council.
The proposed rates increase for the 2008/09 financial year is 6.8%. Rising transport costs, in particular diesel to fuel the region’s buses, account for 40% of the proposed rates rise. However, ratepayers will not pay for the entire transport cost increase, and the Regional Council will also be consulting with the public on a proposal to raise fares by about 10% on 1 September this year. This would be an average increase across the Metlink network, and would impact differently on different fare zones.
[frog: I finally found the link to my quote here.]
If our government agencies were doing an even slightly better job of forecasting the price of oil, as there is voluminous data and research that says the price will only go up, the Wellington Regional Council might be able to plan for these increases and soften the blow to ratepayers. They might even be able to adjust the public transport and urban planning to accommodate an oil constrained future! Wouldn’t that be amazing?
Last year I reported that in the House, Jeanette confronted Treasury and the RBNZ here, and the MED here about their appalling forecasting. Today’s announcement is the fruit of their unwillingness to lift their heads from the sand and confront the realities of a finite resource.