Labor announces fair go for ratepayers
Victorian Labor will force councils to cap their rates at Consumer Price Index (CPI) and justify any further increases.
Councils wishing to raise their rates above CPI must appeal to the independent Essential Services Commission (ESC) and justify any rate increases.
Under Labor, councils increasing their rates will be accountable for how they spend ratepayers’ money.
The ESC will determine whether rate increases are fair, and will take into account:
- Any extraordinary circumstances (e.g. natural disasters, new functions)
- Other sources of income available to the Council and their overall financial position
- The continued maintenance of essential Council services
If the ESC believes the rate rise is unreasonable, it will recommend to the Minister for Local Government that the increase be blocked.
At the moment the ESC makes sure that Victorians pay a fair price for gas, water and electricity. It is the sensible authority to determine council rates.