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Anderton Spends $1.6m on Another Loser

Anderton Spends $1.6m on Another Loser

If Jim Anderton had listened in August 2001 instead of throwing $1.6 million of corporate welfare at Ericsson Synergy the taxpayer could have saved a mint, ACT Finance Spokesman Rodney Hide said today.

"Who is surprised that one of the big "winners" that Mr Anderton spent over a million dollars on has come a cropper and wound up? Mr Anderton shouldn't be surprised - I warned him.

"In August last year I condemned Mr Anderton for spending $1.6 million of taxpayer money getting Ericsson Synergy to come to New Zealand. I said it amounted to little more than a bribe. Did Mr Anderton listen? No - he had the gall to defend playing high-stake games with public funds. Standing alongside Ministers Paul Swain and Pete Hodgson, Mr Anderton claimed the payout showed "the Government is prepared to be active in chasing investment that is good for New Zealand." He said his Government was being "bold" in attracting overseas funds.

"Bold Mr Anderton might now like to explain if a single dollar returned to New Zealand from this deal. Because incredibly, after little more than a year in the country, Ericsson Synergy is being wound up. It has collected cash from the taxpayer and moved on. And Mr Anderton is left at home looking incredibly foolish.

"Mr Anderton has picked another loser. In his enthusiasm to pick new winners his Government has completely forgotten the existing 277,965 companies which provide the equivalent of 1.4 million fulltime jobs. While Mr Anderton has been pumping funds at companies like Ericsson Synergy, he's made life harder and harder for every other struggling New Zealand business," Mr Hide said.

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