Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

EY Report Shows No Need for Copper Tax or Govt Bailout

14 DECEMBER 2013

EY Report Shows No Need for Copper Tax or Govt Bailout

Today’s EY Australia report vindicates the Coalition for Fair Internet Pricing’s view that neither a copper tax nor a taxpayer bailout is necessary to resolve the ultra-fast broadband (UFB) issue.

“This report is good news,” a spokesman for the coalition, Paul Brislen, also chief executive of the Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand (TUANZ), said today.

“It proves that the government’s flagship UFB initiative can be built on time and within budget with a straightforward capital raising – and without a copper tax, barmy ideas like slowing broadband speeds to dial up, or any other old-fashioned state interventions or taxpayer bailouts.

“The report indicates that a capital raising by Chorus Ltd of around $500 million would solve all alleged problems with building the UFB after new fair prices for copper broadband and voice services come into force on 1 December 2014.

“Ms Adams is to be commended for commissioning this report and releasing it with plenty of time before the NZX and ASX open on Monday.

“It is the first solid, independent information on Chorus’s financial situation to be made available since the Commerce Commission announced last December the new fair prices it had determined under Steven Joyce’s Telecommunications Amendment Act 2011.”

Mr Brislen said the coalition would accept for the time being Chorus’s claims that the new fair copper prices would reduce its monopoly revenue by $1.07 billion through to 2020, although it remained sceptical the impact was so high.

He noted that Prime Minister John Key had previously rubbished early estimates the impact could be as high as $600 million and economists Covec had calculated the value of the copper tax to be no more than $449 million between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2019.

EY Australia makes clear in its report it simply accepted Chorus’s claims of a $1.07 billion funding gap.

“The coalition will be studying these numbers more carefully in the days ahead, but even if the shortfall is as much as Chorus now claims, EY Australia says that much of it can be addressed through changes to dividend policies and debt headroom,” he said.

“Our initial view is that were Chorus to raise around $500 million in new equity, it could fill its alleged funding gap without recourse to the more barmy ideas to enhance revenue, such as reducing broadband speeds to that of the old dial-up services.

“Especially in the context of the booming New Zealand economy next year, raising $500 million in new equity for what is a growth stock is undoubtedly doable.”

Mr Brislen said the report not only vindicated the coalition’s arguments that a copper tax was unnecessary but also Mr Joyce’s landmark Telecommunications Amendment Act 2011, the Commerce Commission’s implementation of that Act and Ms Adams’ decision to commission EY Australia to review Chorus.

“The government has no stronger supporter of its UFB initiative than the Coalition for Fair Internet Pricing,” Mr Brislen said.

“We look forward to working with the government to play whatever constructive role we can in fast-tracking both the building and take up of the new UFB.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Snail-ier Mail: NZ Post To Ditch FastPost

New Zealand Post customers will see a change to how they can send priority mail from 1 January 2018. The FastPost service will no longer be available from this date. More>>

ALSO:

Property Institute: English Backs Of Debt To Income Plan

Property Institute of New Zealand Chief Executive Ashley Church is applauding today’s decision, by Prime Minister Bill English, to take Debt-to-income ratios off the table as a tool available to the Reserve Bank. More>>

ALSO:

Divesting: NZ Super Fund Shifts Passive Equities To Low-Carbon

The NZ$35 billion NZ Super Fund’s NZ$14 billion global passive equity portfolio, 40% of the overall Fund, is now low-carbon, the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Split Decision - Appeal Planned: EPA Allows Taranaki Bight Seabed Mine

The Decision-making Committee, appointed by the Board of the Environmental Protection Authority to decide a marine consent application by Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd, has granted consent, subject to conditions, for the company to mine iron sands off the South Taranaki Bight. More>>

ALSO:

New Report: Waitākere Kauri - Look After It, Or Lose It

With no cure for kauri dieback disease and treatment options still being trialled, the Auckland region faces a very real threat – take urgent action in the Waitākere Ranges or risk losing kauri from our forests altogether. More>>

ALSO: