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Corporate welfare now extends across the ditch

Hon Roger Sowry MP National Party Transport Spokesman

05 September 2003

Corporate welfare now extends across the ditch

The National Party says New Zealand taxpayers are set to provide never-ending subsidies to an Australian company, after the Tranz Rail board decision to back a new takeover offer from Toll Holdings Ltd.

The Government's now poised to take over responsibility for incalculable upgrading and the expensive long term maintenance of the track network as part of that deal," says National Party Transport spokesman Roger Sowry.

"Meanwhile Toll, with its monopoly, will be given a green light to cream the profits.

"It's simply not smart business," says Mr Sowry.

"By wading into the Tranz Rail takeover, the Government is exposing the New Zealand taxpayer to a massive ongoing investment in a high risk business venture it does not own.

"In fact the National Party understands the Government went to extraordinary lengths to make sure Toll pushed ahead with its offer.

"An analysis by Grant Samuel suggests the Labour Government sweetened the deal, after the initial bid ran into trouble.

"That came long after Michael Cullen promised the Government would not get involved in a bidding war.

"Once again it appears that Labour's done another sneaky back-room deal to satisfy its own ideological agenda," says Mr Sowry.


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