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Tory Tale: Private oligopoly good for your health

23 January 2004

Hon Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

Tory Tale: Private oligopoly good for your health

Progressive MP Matt Robson is predicting that the National and ACT parties will go into next year's general election promoting less protection for consumers' rights and interests and more protection for private oligopolies.

"The record of past National-led governments is that they don't have many ideas of their own.

"In the absence of their own ideas, they often ended up just mimicking proposals by the Business Roundtable and their fellow-travellers - like the mad and costly idea of selling the national railway track network including the railway track to a private company that subsequently ran the railway system into the ground while simultaneously undermining the nation's ability to pursue a rational, efficient and integrated national transport policy," the Progressive MP said.

"So when you hear that the Business Roundtable is putting out statements saying that governments shouldn't bother trying to implement policies to encourage competition - then you can be pretty sure that the conservative parties will follow suit when they get round to writing their 2005 election
manifestos," Matt Robson said.

The Business Roundtable put out a statement today saying that a recent U.S. study had concluded it is difficult to definitively prove that active competition policies in the United States over recent years had in fact provided significant direct benefits to individual consumers nor had such U.S. policies been definitively proven to have delivered significantly increased competition in markets such as telecommunications.

The dictionary definition: Oligopoly - a state of limited competition between a small number of producers or sellers (Concise Oxford, 9th Ed.)

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