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Taxpayer Handout to The Warehouse Stinks

Taxpayer Handout to The Warehouse Stinks

Industry New Zealand's $75,000 grant to retailing giant The Warehouse is an outrage, ACT Finance Spokesman Rodney Hide said today.

"The Warehouse is a great company, and it has delivered great bargains to New Zealanders. But there is no way that hard-earned taxpayers' cash should be given to The Warehouse for "business growth". That is not why New Zealanders pay tax.

"The handout smacks of crony capitalism of the worst sort. Helen Clark and Stephen Tindall are close acquaintances. Ms Clark paid tribute to Mr Tindall during the election campaign. Mr Tindall was one of the few business leaders to say how "happy" he was with the prime minister's decision to hold a snap election. In August, Mr Tindall attended the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg with Helen Clark.

"As an invited member of the `Growth and Innovation Advisory Board' with top access to the Government, Mr Tindall was invited to the October 11 gabfest with Helen Clark, Michael Cullen, Jim Anderton and Margaret Wilson to discuss Labour's "innovation package".

"And Mr Tindall's Business Council for Sustainable Development has extremely close links with Ms Clark's Government. He has the opportunity to lobby the Prime Minister and Cabinet that most business owners can only dream of.

"Dr Cullen made a song and dance during the Ross Armstrong affair that perception for this Government is vitally important.

"The perception of a taxpayer payout to The Warehouse that makes New Zealand sales of around $1.4 billion is that it stinks," Mr Hide said.

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