Friday 15 July 2011

Ford's consultants: Miller was right

The Grid TO | Ford's consultants: Miller was right
Look wait-and-give-him-a-chance people and Ford followers: even the consultants, who Ford wasted a lot of money on, agree with David Miller, 1/3 of the councillors, and just over half the people in Toronto who voted in the municipal election last year: there is/was no waste!

Rob Ford said he would not raise taxes or cut services but cut wasteful spending in order to find money for Toronto. But, there was/is no wasteful spending. So, he is breaking two of his campaign promises (he said he would find waste - there is none, and he said he would not cut services - yet he is).

Toronto is an ever-growing city - the population keeps increasing at a significant rate. More people, along with usual cost increases, means that the cost of running Toronto will steadily increase. You can't reduce (cut the land transfer tax and the vehicle registration tax already) the income of the city and expect to continue to maintain services. Ford also plans on reducing the staff of Toronto significantly. To do this he plans on offering people severance packages. The problem with this is that a)there goes another waste of money, since b) we will need to hire these people back since you can't significantly reduce staff when you have an ever-increasing workload due to an ever-growing population.

If anyone is wasting money here, it is Rob Ford - over $533 million since December 2010.

The article in the Grid tells it like it is:
The report by KPMG for Rob Ford could just as easily have been written by the former mayor Ford hates so much

As no doubt you’ve heard,
today, the first phase of the Core Services Review carried out by
consultants KPMG at the behest of Mayor Rob Ford and city council was made available [PDF].
You’ll read a lot over the coming days—you may have read a lot
already—about the debates over the cuts it suggests are possible. But at
a glance, the most astonishing thing about it is that it could have
been written by the campaign to re-elect David Miller, or by councillors
like Shelley Carroll, Gord Perks, Adam Vaugahn and Janet Davis.

That is: the conclusions drawn by the consultants hired by Rob Ford
are the same as the talking points of Rob Ford’s opponents: that there
is very little inefficiency in Toronto’s government (KPMG says 96% per
cent of services in Public Works—the area covered by this phase of the
report—are required) and that finding savings for taxpayers will require
cutting services.

Seriously, that’s what it says. Rob Ford, of course, campaigned by
saying repeatedly that he would lower taxes without cutting services. He
said repeatedly that simply making the functioning of government more
efficient and eliminating waste would realize huge savings. He said, “we
don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.” KPMG, after
being paid handsomely by Ford’s city hall, would beg to differ, it

The report does not recommend any cuts, rather it identifies places
where cuts might be possible without violating provincial law or
abandoning the basic necessities of municipal life. So: we could save
money by spending less on cycling infrastructure. We could save money by
not fluoridating the water. We could save money by reducing the level
of street cleaning or the level of snow removal. All these and more are
contained in the report. We could save money by eliminating the green
bin program. These items do not necessarily look like waste. The
possibilities discussed have nothing to do with efficiency.

The risks of each possibility are noted (for example, KPMG notes the
“High” risk of an epidemic of tooth decay that would flow from the “Low”
savings of stopping fluoridation). Virtually all of the possibilities
will generate a “Low” level of savings, according to the report.

Another interesting thing: the public consultation results
released alongside the report today could have been written by the
committee to re-elect David Miller, too: they rank quality and
consistency of service highly across the board, and rank low taxes as
the lowest possible priority.

One further thing, as reported by journalist Jonathan Goldsbie: Mike
Del Grand, Rob Ford’s budget chief, today said, in discussing the
report, that “We have the lowest taxes in the GTA, with the greatest services provided.
That was a David Miller talking point too. And what it suggests is that
Toronto has a revenue problem. And that solving it without raising
taxes will mean cutting services. It will be interesting to see if the
further phases of the report carry on the theme of proving the entire
premise of the Ford campaign wrong.

No comments: