Premier Colin Barnett says rate rises by many Perth councils can’t be justified and has accused the authorities of falsely blaming State Government fees and charges for the hikes.
One third of WA’s 30 metropolitan councils have approved or flagged rises of 5.5 per cent or above for 2014-15 – at least twice the 2.75 per cent consumer price index forecast contained in May’s State Budget.
Half have rate rises of 5 per cent or more.
Many councils have highlighted rises in the State Government’s waste levy and utility costs to justify the size of the increases, which Mr Barnett pushed back against this morning.
“Right now people are getting their rates notices and seeing significant increases in rates that I don’t think can be fully justified and some local Governments have attempted to blame the State Government,” he said.
“Well the State Government charges, the waste levy and the like, have gone up. That can account for around 1 per cent only. The rate increases are way above that.”
But when asked if he could guarantee the State Government’s amalgamation blueprint to cut by half the number of metropolitan councils would result in lower rates, Mr Barnett declined.
“No, but I don’t think people want to see their rates going up 5, 6 per cent every year,” he said.