Strange Maths Of Auckland City Council

There was that article in the newspaper last week. Because of the fixed interest rates on the council (our) debt and the current very interest rates the city lost $1.4b. The council explained very quickly we actually did not lose anything. Because we did not have that money. So the loss is a loss on the paper, related to the council’s accounting. However, nobody mentioned that we, at least theoretically, could have had that money. If we planned to pay the interest of a certain figure and we paid less, we would have saved something, wouldn’t we? The council did not share that part of the information with the city ratepayers.

This week there was another article in the newspaper. Because of Covid-19 the council’s income was lower $1b than planned. To deal with that the plan is to increase rates and perhaps the water charges as well.

I am not an accountant, but this looks like simple maths. We could have had $1.4b of extra money. We had $1b loss. So theoretically we could have had a surplus of up to $400m even with Covid-19! Sadly nobody commented on that (yet) as far as I know. Also sadly, it looks like nobody is responsible. The council guys played a game, they lost $1.4b. Pity, but that’s life! They want extra $1b. Who cares, no problem, ratepayers will handle that.