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Spin on profitability of SOEs out of control

Gordon Copeland Press Release
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, 6th August 2008

Government spin on profitability of SOEs out of control!

Independent MP Gordon Copeland has expressed his amazement that, when asked a question in Parliament yesterday about the performance of state owned enterprises (SOEs), Minister Trevor Mallard stated that their total revenue for the 2007 financial year was $7.8 billion and that “these are great results”.

“I took a point of order on that matter since I realised immediately that the average New Zealander would conclude from his answer that the Government derives a profit of $7.8 billion each year from the SOEs, where in fact their net income was $727millon, less than 10% of the figure quoted by the Minister,” said Mr Copeland,

“The Minister reacted in his usual rottweiler style to say that I should know the difference between revenue and profit because I am a Chartered Accountant – the usual patronising response one has come to expect from Trevor Mallard when he is caught trying to spin numbers to make the Government look better than it is.”

“I certainly do know the difference between gross revenue i.e. the total value of the sales of the SOE in a year, and net revenue (otherwise called profit or surplus) which is that gross revenue less costs.”

“The result for the year was a surplus of $727 million. The Government’s $7.8 billion ‘’result’ figure is actually an outrageous piece of spin.”

ENDS

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