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Labour wasting money on prison ideology

Hon. Tony Ryall MP
National Law and Order spokesman
12 July 2005

Labour wasting money on prison ideology

Labour will tomorrow waste more than $8 million of taxpayers' money simply because it doesn't like the thought of privately run prisons, says National's Law and Order spokesman, Tony Ryall.

He is commenting on the last day that Auckland Central Remand Prison will be privately operated. Tomorrow it becomes part of the state system.

"This is political correctness gone mad. Value for money is out the door.

"Here we have a private company running a prison that does more for less money, and Labour is pushing them out.

"National will involve the private sector in operating the additional prisons needed in the short to medium term as a result of our plan to abolish parole for repeat and violent offenders."

Official Department of Corrections documents outline that Labour is budgeting

$20 million to run Auckland Central Remand Prison when its private contract ends tomorrow.

Mr Ryall says it costs about $11.5 million a year for private enterprise to run the prison.

"So why is the taxpayer going to pay $8.5 million more to run that prison? It doesn't have to.

"Minister Swain tells us the Government can run that prison for $7,000 per inmate cheaper than private enterprise. In actual fact, using their own budget figures, the cost per inmate will be $28,000 more than if it were privately run.

"This makes no sense at all. Helen Clark is chucking taxpayers' money away.

"That $8.5 million would be much better spent on crime prevention or early intervention programmes to stop people going to prison in the first place.

"Instead of that, the Prime Moneywaster is putting ideology before value for money," says Mr Ryall.

ENDS

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