VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – New research suggest municipal spending in Metro Vancouver has gone up 80 per cent in the first decade of the new millennium.

The BC Business Council is behind the study and feels duplication of services is one of the drivers of this problem.

“Why can’t you pool your back office functions in terms of corporate administration, human resource management, procurement, finance,” wonders Executive Director Jock Finlayson.

“These could all be areas where we think significant streamlining could occur among municipalities in the region, which at least to some extent, would help to contain the growth of costs over time.”

The biggest spenders include West Vancouver, New Westminster, and the City of Vancouver. The most frugal is Surrey, which the council says gives good value for the local services it provides.

The research suggests salaries are other contributing factor.

“There’s kind of a growing divergence in pay and compensation increases for people working in the municipal arena, compared to their provincial and federal counterparts,” Finlayson points out. “That’s something that taxpayers should be taking a look at.”