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Alexander climbs into Corrections' costs

Alexander climbs into Corrections' costs

United Future's Marc Alexander today grilled Corrections chief executive Mark Byers over lump sum funding of $6.2 million budgeted for the changeover of Auckland Central Remand Prison from private to public management.

"That is the first instalment of the cost of indulging the Government's ideology," Mr Alexander said of the returning of the country's best-performing prison to State management.

Under questioning from Mr Alexander before the Law and Order Select Committee, Mr Byers admitted that the decision was purely political, and accepted that the private managers had run the prison efficiently and well.

"So yes, taxpayers are picking up the tab for Labour's old socialist leanings," Mr Alexander said.

"And when one compares the efficiency and cost ratios of this prison to the State system, then the taxpayer had better get used to sustaining ongoing costs on the same basis."

Mr Alexander also expressed strong concern at the blanket $6.2 million figure.

"I think we should reasonably expect that they can to some extent itemise such a cost. The fact that they couldn't bothered is typical of the blasé approach to the public's best interest that underpins this whole debacle," he said.

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