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Get Out Of SOEs, Not Further In

Get Out Of SOEs, Not Further In

Tuesday 8 Jun 2004

The Labour Government's signalling of its intention to place a tighter rein on State-Owned Enterprises will send shockwaves through the entire economy, ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader Ken Shirley said today.

"Removing politics from business was a core reason for establishing the SOE's almost 20 years ago," Mr Shirley said.

"History teaches us that governments should never try to pick winners in commerce - because, inevitably, they get it wrong. They always place political agendas ahead of market signals, and the taxpayer bears the brunt.

"Of particular concern would be Labour's increased interference in the energy sector. Rather than increasing its control over these SOE's, the Government should be doing the opposite and looking for private investors to displace Government stakeholding.

"Our energy sector is suffering from too much government and not enough market. This trend from the Labour Government is a recipe for the nationalisation of key commercial assets," Mr Shirley said.

ENDS

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