There is no clear evidence to support rate capping improves productivity of councils.
There is evidence that rate capping leads to an under-investment in community assets, leading councils to increase non-rateable charges to remain sustainable.
Rate capping is a catchy slogan, look a bit deeper and don’t be tricked into voting for a slogan that creates future problems for our community.
Rate capping treats all Councils in the same way. Many of our Councils are run efficiently and effectively… why target all Councilswhen a few need to get their act together.
Also, the SA Liberals are not prepared to apply the same principles to their management of the state budget.
Councils already have established benchmarks for financial performance in relation to asset management, revenue, debt, etc.
What we need is benchmarks for service delivery to ensure that Councils offer value for money to ratepayers.
If State and Local Government establish service delivery benchmarks, that include both financial and non-financial measures, it will provide Councils with the performance measures expected by the community.
Under-performing Councils would be given time to meet the required service delivery benchmarks, and would need to identify any actions to address under-performance in their annual business plan.
If the service delivery benchmarks were not reached within the required timeframe, an intervention by the State government would be possible.
This policy is outcome focussed.., it focusses on improving the service delivery performance of Councils and thevalue for money to ratepayers.
It is not a blunt, brute force instrument applied unilaterally to the whole local government sector, in many cases unnecessarily.