Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Key Admits Increased Debt Behind Solid Energy’s Downfall

David
SHEARER

Labour Leader
14 March 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT

Key Admits Increased Debt Behind Solid Energy’s Downfall

John Key must explain why his Government pressured Solid Energy to increase debt when just a few weeks ago he claimed that was the very reason the company is now in dire financial trouble, says Labour Leader David Shearer.

“The Prime Minister has some explaining to do when he returns from South America. He should start by taking responsibility for the role he and his ministers have played in the downfall of the once profitable Solid Energy.

“On the 25th of February, John Key said in a press conference that one of the three major problems contributing to Solid Energy’s financial predicament was that ‘they added gearing to a company that historically had not had gearing’. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1302/S00125/pm-press-conference-dominated-by-solid-energy-debacle.htm (15 minutes in)

“But documents obtained by Labour show that it was his own ministers who pressured Solid Energy into increasing its gearing (debt to equity) ratio back in 2009. Research by the Parliamentary Library shows that the net gearing ratio for Solid Energy rose from 13.8% in 2009 to 41.7% last year.

“What’s worse is that Bill English and other ministers were putting that pressure on when they knew that coal prices were tanking. They also continued to milk the company for huge dividends at the same time.

“In Parliament yesterday, Bill English tried to deny knowledge of the coal price problem but a ministerial letter to Solid Energy in May 2009 shows that he knew there was a ‘significant decline in forecast coal prices’.

“John Key and his ministers are trying to cover their own tracks by pointing the finger at the board and CEO. But they’re absolutely in the gun on this issue.

“SOEs Minister Tony Ryall this morning even claimed that the Government didn’t put ‘too much pressure over debt at all’. Yet the letters prove ministers were pushing the company to increase its gearing. And debt did increase from $13 million in 2009 to $313 million three years later. Solid Energy is now $389 million in the red.

“While there are a number of reasons for that decline, John Key and his ministers must take their fair share of the blame,” said David Shearer.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On First Time Voting (Greens)

For the last two days, I’ve turned my column over to a couple of guest columnists who are first time voters. They’ve been asked to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music. Today’s guest columnist is Ana Avia-O’Connor, who will be casting her first time vote on Saturday for the Greens.

If I didn’t know any better, it would seem the world has conspired for me to be a Green Party voter. Parents, Green voters? Check. Participation in bilingual education that stressed the importance of inquiry, solidarity and the Treaty? Check. Some sort of vegetarian leanings (seven years and counting, jus’ sayin’)? Check. However, above all of that, I’m voting Green because I believe in supporting the importance of every New Zealander’s contribution to Aotearoa, from the hairdresser in Foxton to the fisherman in Bluff. You could say that I like the cut of the Greens’ jib. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Not-Especially New Plans: All Prisons To Become Working Prisons Under National

All public prisons in New Zealand will become full working prisons by 2017, and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government, says Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley. More>>

ALSO:

Māngere: "False Claim Of Matai Title" - Labour

National must explain why its candidate for Māngere Misa Fia Turner appears to be using a Matai title she is not entitled to, Labour’s MP for Māngere and Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. A Matai title is a legally-recognised ... More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: No New Zealand Child Should Grow Up In Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group's flagship policy publication Our Children, Our Choice: Priorities for Policy calls for cross party political agreement to underpin an action plan to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On National’s Phantom Tax Cut Package

Hmmm. So National’s tax cuts package turns out to be one of those television advertisements that screams a headline promise – perfect skin! a youth tonic that works! – while in very small print there’s an out clause: special conditions may apply. More>>

ALSO:

Water: New Marine Reserves On West Coast Opened

Five new marine reserves were officially opened by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith on the West Coast of the South Island to protect a range of marine ecosystems for conservation, science and recreation. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news