Any councillor or politician would know it is impossible to please everyone when it comes to budget spending.
There is only a limited amount of cash available to go around, but a seemingly endless amount of worthy causes.
So this year Melbourne City Council is giving its ratepayers a chance to make the tough choices, with an online “budget simulator” that allows them choose what areas they want to reduce and increase spending.
There is an annual total of $400.55 million to play around with. Sure, you can spend more on park maintenance and street cleaning, but you will have to make the tough cuts elsewhere. (Somewhat inexplicably, there does not seem to be an option to reduce the annual $175,769 allowance paid to the lord mayor, or other council staff for that matter.)
The results generated by the simulator will be passed on to council’s People’s Panel who will advise councillors on generating the municipality’s 10-year financial plan.
Try creating your own budget here.