Annual Plan trims spending to reduce costs

Published on 11 July 2022

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Far North District Council has adopted its Annual Plan 2022/23 following extensive efforts to trim budgets and defer spending to minimise costs for ratepayers.

Mayor John Carter says that considerable energy went into reducing council spending this financial year and this had resulted in an overall rates increase of 5.44 per cent, well below the 6.4 per cent maximum the council set in its Financial Strategy.

“By trimming budgets where we can and deferring spending where possible, we have landed at a place we feel balances the need to provide the infrastructure and services our district requires against the very real need to keep cost increases to a minimum.”

He says councillors were keenly aware when they adopted the Annual Plan on 30 June that ratepayers are already under financial pressure due to spiralling price increases and record levels of inflation.

“We were determined not to increase that burden more than necessary, keeping in mind that we must continue to provide key infrastructure and services to residents,” he says.

The council acknowledged in the Annual Plan 2022/23 that rising inflation, uncertainties over workforce availability and constrained supply chain networks coupled with reduced productivity caused by COVID-19 had significantly challenged the work programme set for year two of the council’s Long Term Plan (LTP) 2021-31.

Key differences between the Annual Plan and year two of the LTP include:

  • An average rate increase of 5.44 per cent, slightly above the 5 per cent forecast
  • An increase to forecast operating expenditure from $148.8 million to of $154 .4 million
  • A decrease in debt from $193.8 million to $171.3 million by the end of the 2022/23 financial year.

Individual ratepayers can find out what their rates will be by checking the Rating Information Database on the council’s website.