The National Party will be supporting changes to allow retirement village residents to claim a rates rebate, Local Government spokesperson Jami-Lee Ross says.
“Rates rebates are an important part of the rating system which helps people on low and fixed incomes to better afford their annual rates.
“National supports the extension of the rates rebate scheme to retirement village residents. We previously opposed the Rates Rebate (Retirement Village Residents) Amendment Bill because it was unworkable and a ‘once over lightly’ approach to law making.
“The Bill had very little detail on how ratepayers could apply for a rebate when living in a retirement village, it posed uncertain costs on local authorities and retirement village operators, and the very department tasked with implementing the new provisions was strongly opposed.
“Last year, we raised these concerns at Select Committee and requested more time to fix the Bill. This request was opposed at the time by Labour. It’s now pleasing to see that the Government has had a change of heart and addressed the concerns we raised.
“We have always maintained that we will support the Government when they make good decisions, and hold them to account for bad ones. Now that the Bill gives retirement village residents and councils more certainty, as well as ensuring the better access to the rates rebates scheme, we welcome the improved Bill and will be supporting it.”