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Jets For Sale: Finance Available, No Deposit

Jets For Sale: Finance Available, No Deposit

ACT New Zealand National Security Spokesman Heather Roy today said that Treasury documents obtained under the Official Information Act reinforce her view that the sale of the Air Combat Wing is doomed, and show that potential buyers for the Skyhawks and Aermacchis have come and gone over the past six years.

"These documents also reveal that the Government seemed prepared to consider any kind of sale - including dealing with unsecured purchasers under deferred payment conditions with no money up front, and a sale potentially under-written by Lloyds of London," Mrs Roy said.

"Following Prime Minister Helen Clark's decision to de-commission the Air Combat Wing, the 17 Skyhawks and 17 Aermacchis have become a huge embarrassment for the Government - which, according to these documents, then took an amateurish approach to the sale and its financial implications.

"In 2004, Treasury advised the Government that it should consider a number of 'non-sale' alternatives including: gifting, scrapping options, selling the spares separately, and taking consideration of the growing holding costs to the RNZAF.

"My conservative estimate to date puts the RNZAF around $12 million out of pocket - while the Labour-led Government forlornly seeks any kinds of sales deal that it can get its hands on.

"This Government has exhibited less financial nous in selling these jets than ordinary Kiwis show when selling their home or car - would any Kiwi sell their assets with the prospect of no money or no guaranteed sale?

"No deposit and deferred payment might be an acceptable way to sell a lounge suite, but it's certainly no way to sell valuable military equipment," Mrs Roy said.

ENDS


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