Cynical election year U-turn will fool no-one
"The Government's decision to defer the sale of MetService until after the election is a piece of cheap political cynicism which will fool no-one," Labour spokesperson on State Owned Enterprises Paul Swain said today.
"The good news is that the deferment will keep this important and profitable service in public ownership because the incoming Labour-led Government will put a halt to all asset sales.
"But that does not excuse National's expediency. The pretext the Government has offered - to give all potential bidders more time to put together their bids - is transparently false. The only reason they're not proceeding is that they know the sale is unpopular with the electorate.
"If they weren't facing the ballot box, they'd
box on with their aggressive privatisation agenda.
English made that clear earlier this week, saying he'd write the sale of TVNZ and New Zealand Post into his first budget.
"We know National is committed to selling the meterological service as they went to the trouble of pushing special legislation through the House under urgency in the weekend after this year's budget.
"Clearly they hope to get political points out of defering the sale beyond the elections. But the decision will rebound on them politically.
"It will antagonise Act. And it won't fool the public. It will just give them yet another reason to vote Labour," Mr Swain said.