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Govt rail deal puts more taxpayer money at risk

Govt rail deal puts more taxpayer money at risk

The National Party is accusing Labour of taking another huge gamble using taxpayer money, after the Government unveiled a proposal to buy the tracks and associated property off Tranz Rail.

"The Labour Government has a lousy track record in business, as the Air New Zealand deal has shown," says the National Party Transport spokesman Roger Sowry.

"The National Party believes the Government has no place in the rail business and commercial interests would be better left to manage their own affairs.

"Instead we've seen the creeping hand of an administration motivated by socialist ideology, buying back services that other Governments leave to private enterprise," says Mr Sowry.

"There's obviously interest in Tranz Rail as a going concern, given the recent bids by rival companies.

"It's also worth noting that when the Government moved to buy back the rail corridors in Auckland, the crown was accused by many of paying far too much.

"That's yet another example of Labour's business naivety, at the taxpayer's expense," Mr Sowry says.

"By default, the taxpayer will also be subsidising Tranz Rail investors who, until recently, have watched their share prices tumble.

"Instead of reducing hospital waiting lists, or offering tax breaks to working New Zealanders, the Labour Government has opted to empire build.

"Yet again, Labour returns to type," says Mr Sowry.

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