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Labour and Greens serving business interests

Jamie Whyte
ACT Leader

Labour and Greens serving business interests

David Cunliffe has decided to direct great wads of taxpayers’ money to the forestry industry. According to the Otago Daily Times, when “asked about the response from the industry to the policies, Mr Cunliffe said it had been ‘bloody good’, but that was not surprising, as the party had consulted widely with industry in putting the package together”.

What an astonishingly stupid question. Of course those who are about to be in receipt of taxpayers’ money think the policy is a bloody good idea. The questioner should have asked people in other industries, who will now face an unfair competition for resources, if they think it is a bloody good policy. Or he might have asked us taxpayers.

The Greens pulled the same trick last week when they boasted on Facebook that a solar panel producer had spoken favourably of the party's solar subsidy policy. Could politicians cosying up to business become the new norm under Labour and The Greens?

The harm done by industrial policies of the kind Mr Cunliffe and The Greens promote cannot be observed in the fortunes of the firms favoured by the government. For example, the Detroit car manufacturers bailed out by Obama may now be thriving. But that doesn’t show the policy worked. The cost of the policy is the opportunities for other productive activities that have been forgone because of the forcible transfer of resources to Obama’s favoured firms.

Alas, those lost opportunities are invisible. Whereas the joy of those being offered a meal at the tax-funded trough is all too obvious.


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