Councils, carbon prices and tackling emissions

Dr Eric Crampton
NZ Herald
7 April, 2022

Inflation is central government's responsibility. The Reserve Bank sets monetary policy, and monetary policy drives inflation.

Inflation being central government's responsibility hardly means that local councils can just ignore it. Inflation affects everyone: households, companies, and councils. A council that ignored inflation would lose good staff by failing to keep up with wage increases, err in estimating project costs, and blow out budgets.

A superb council could help its residents by making sure its rules do not make it too hard for residents to adapt to rising prices. Easing zoning and consenting would help housing supply to respond to changes in demand, making the Reserve Bank's job easier, while improving housing affordability.

But it would be madness for a council to take on an anti-inflation mandate and try to combat inflation directly through local wage and price controls.

Read the full article on the NZ Herald.

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