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New UFB spend-up for asset sales slush fund

Clayton Cosgrove
SOE Spokesperson

26 March 2014

New UFB spend-up for asset sales slush fund

National has snuck in yet another spending item into its asset sales slush fund, this time money for ultra-fast broadband, Labour’s SOE spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says.

“National has promised around $20 billion in spending from asset sales, including loans to failed SOE Solid Energy, advertising materials for the sales themselves and the bonus scheme for Mighty River Power [1].

“But now we know the sales will raise well less than $5 billion. Despite falling over $15 billion short of its promises, National has snuck another one in at the last minute.

“In their press release today Bill English and Tony Ryall said they would now spend part of the $4 billion they have raised on ultra-fast broadband.

“This is the first time that ultra-fast broadband has been mentioned. It raises serious questions.

“Two weeks ago Crown Fibre Holdings said no new funding would be made available to Chorus – so what is this money intended for?

“Is it a backdoor bail out of Chorus, paying them in another way? The public needs answers now.

“National promised the sales would pay for new assets – they should not be used to pay for the Government’s mistakes,” Clayton Cosgrove says.

[1] Includes pledges for city rail link, money for Christchurch rebuild, new schools and hospitals, KiwiRail, Wellington war memorial, irrigation subsidies and more.

ENDS

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