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Castro and Jong Il Are Not Ideal Role Models

Fidel Castro and Kim Jong Il Are Not Ideal Role Models

ACT Transport Spokesman Deborah Coddington today asked why the `Buy Back Rail' gang want to stop at nationalising railways.

"Green and Progressive politicians claim the Government must purchase Tranz Rail because the private company is not making a profit. But if we accept that argument, surely the Government has a moral duty to nationalise every business in difficulty from Cape Reinga to Bluff.

"As we saw with Air New Zealand, rewarding a `poor performer' by bailing it out with taxpayer money sends the worst possible signal to the commercial sector.

"The test of privatisation is not whether a company does well - it's whether the public is better off. The privatisation of New Zealand Rail increased competition, put taxpayers at less risk, and brought a consumer focus to the company.

"United Future claims the Government should purchase the entire rail network and leave the private sector with the rolling stock. That's just loopy. It places all the risk on the taxpayer. If the Government failed to maintain the track and there was an accident affecting privately owned machinery, it would be the taxpayer who would foot the bill.

"Tranz Rail should be left to get on with its legitimate business, or go into receivership or liquidation.

"I'm appalled that these politicians believe our country should emulate North Korea and Cuba and embark on a project of nationalisation. There's no reason for the Government to waste a cent of taxpayer money," Miss Coddington said.

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