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Corporate welfare needs means testing

Corporate welfare needs means testing

The subsidy paid to Rio Tinto by Bill English has been shown up to be corporate welfare at its worst, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.

The multi-national company, gifted $30 million of taxpayer money by National last year, has announced a profit of $US3.7 billion.

“Bill English bent over backwards to stitch up a deal with Rio Tinto over Tiwai Point. He ignored Treasury advice and, to rub salt into the wound, he made the deal tax free.

“Mr English claimed time and time again that the subsidy was to save jobs, but bizarrely he never actually bothered to ask for a jobs guarantee.

“He made no attempt whatsoever to test the need for a subsidy for a massively profitable company.

“Rio Tinto must be laughing all the way to the bank. It can pack up and leave Tiwai in 2016, minus any obligations and having pocketed millions in taxpayer cash.

“If Bill English and his mates are to continue handing out corporate welfare – and you can bet they will - then they need to make sure it meets both a ‘work test’ and a ‘means test’,” Clayton Cosgrove said.

ends

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