A Springvale pensioner turns his hot water cylinder on only once a week so that he can afford to pay his rates bill, Whanganui councillor David Bennett told his fellows.

Councillors talked about the increased cost of staff wages and how that affects rates as they deliberated on their 2019-20 annual plan on May 22.

David Richardson was one of 37 who made submissions to the plan. He said rates took up 15 per cent of his income and asked councillors to show compassion by keeping rates down.

Whanganui District Council's annual personnel cost is about to rise 6.7 per