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Mallard and Labour hypocrites over asset sales

Mallard and Labour hypocrites over asset sales

Trevor Mallard has to explain how he and Labour campaigned against state asset sales at the last election but are now advocating them, says National Party Finance spokesman John Key.

“New Zealand’s next Minister of Finance told the Agenda show yesterday that the Government could let SOEs go into joint ventures with the private sector and the resulting subsidiaries could be floated on the stock exchange.

“Mr Mallard should be asked what the difference is between that plan and floating part of an SOE itself, which Labour slammed National for advocating at the last election.

“Would this policy apply to things like the NZ Post-DHL joint venture?

“Mr Mallard has now unveiled the real agenda of his SOE expansion drive. But he continues to fail to recognise the risks that this expansion exposes taxpayers too unless it is done under the right governance structure.

“Mr Mallard said he had no intention of fixing the cronyism rife on SOE boards.

“His whole rationale for letting SOEs expand their activities is because the private sector has failed, but he hasn’t pointed out where.

“It will be Michael Cullen, an academic, and Trevor Mallard, a unionist, who will be signing off on these risky ventures.

“Mr Mallard also told Agenda that he’d let an SOE fail if it got in trouble, but everything would be all right because the Government would still own the assets.

“I hate to tell Trevor Mallard this, but if Air New Zealand fell over, the people with first call on its planes would be the airline’s creditors – not him as owner.

“This unbelievable commercial naivety bodes ill for the Government’s plans to expand SOE activities,” says Mr Key.

Ends

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