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Fat cats slurp at the milk while we are on bread and water

The Beagle Editor, Readers might be interested in how much our rates have jumped in the last decade l have rate and water notices for ten years which will enable me to present nine jumps. General Rates are based on land value. My current unimproved land valuation is $211,000. I believe the average Joe the ESC quotes is $190,000 so l am very close to the average. My rates, starting in 2009/10 finishing in 2018/19 are: $2016. $2018. $2045. $2127. $2224. $2326. $2440. $2529. $2648 and $2712 in today’s mail for 2018/19. The percentage increases annually for rates starting one year later ie 2010/11 are 0.1% 1.3. 4.0. 4.6. 4.6 4.9#. 3.5#. 4.7# and 2.4% for 2018/19 . (# indicates a SRV year) The Mean percentage increase is 3.3% l believe one or two of the smaller early numbers are explained by the relative smaller movement in our land valuation early on. Councillor McGinlay recently had Council admit that they factor in a profit every year from Water and Sewer rates to provide a dividend to the General Fund. This is because there are less rules about how much you can charge for water and sewer but there are very strict rules that the General Rate can only go up by CPI. Increases in water per litre costs are 2010 /11 to 2018/19. 23.1% 20.3% 3.1%. 13.7% 0%. 2.4%. 1.1%. 0.9%. And 1.4%. for 2018/19. The Mean annual percentage increase for these numbers computes to a staggering 7.3% Meanwhile the CPI Figures from the Australian Bureau Statistics starting in 2009 and finishing in 2017 are 2.8% 2.9%. 3.3% 1.7%. 2.5%. 2.5%. 1.5%. 1.3% and 1.9 %. The Mean CPI is 2.3 %. In summary Rates 3.3%. Water. 7.3%. CPI 2.3%.

My belief is that a lot of Public Servants workers were on Enterprise agreements awarding pay rises of about 3% for the early years and 2% for the later of these 10 years. We recently saw the Mayor and the Councillors unanimously agree to award themselves with a 2.5% increase in wage. I believe NSW local govt staff a doing a little better with a current agreement awarding 2.5% pa. I also believe that the half dozen or so bigwigs in ESC are receiving larger quantum increases but that’s another story. I understand that the General Managers renewal package still remains a secret even though the salary details have been asked for to ensure that it is constrained to what is allowable and that there is no increase of the package beyond CPI without an open and transparent reason.

A small exercise comparing salaries in sequential annual reports would sort this issue out. which I shall make as my next task. Meanwhile it is very apparent that the average Joe has no hope in keeping up with these rate rises or being able to meet the escalating wage bill of the fat cats getting fatter on the public purse while we scrimp and save to barely afford the annual increases in fees and charges. There are many in the Eurobodalla reliant on incomes that DO NOT go up every year by the CPI. I remember a former General Manager of Eurobodalla, when asked about the affordability issue responded "They can all move out to Nerrigundah or leave the shire if they can't afford to pay". Nerrigundah is looking like an option ... Name and address supplied

#Opinion #Council #LocalStateFederal


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