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Government Using Asset Sales to Plug Holes in a Leaky Budget

Government Using Asset Sales to Plug Holes in a Leaky Budget

The National Government has flip-flopped on its promise to spend money from asset sales on new schools, hospitals and broadband, instead sinking it into repairing Parliament's leaky roof, helping the United States to collect tax revenue from Kiwi residents and funding regional road projects that have been held up by the misallocation of transport funds to holiday highways and other pet projects.

“The National Government sold power companies against the wishes of the public and is now using the proceeds to plug holes in its leaky budget,” said Internet Party Economy and Innovation spokesman David Currin.

In this year's Budget, the Government said $1 billion from the Future Investment Fund – the pool of $4.7 billion raised from selling public stakes in power companies and a selldown of Air New Zealand shares – would be spent on “high priority future investment”.

“What we know now is that the Government is instead spending the windfall from the sale of public assets on weird projects such as fixing a leaky roof at Parliament and becoming a tax collector for the United States.”

Budget papers show $5 million will be spent fixing Parliament’s roof and another $5 million on implementing New Zealand's compliance with the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

Through the Taxation (Annual Rates, Employee Allowances, and Remedial Matters) Bill, expected to come into force soon, the US FATCA law will compel New Zealand banks and other financial institutions to audit, gather and report information on all accounts that at any time during the year have a value of $50,000 or more held by US persons. The Internet Party opposes FATCA.

“That’s $10 million alone not being spent in areas we were told it would be. This Government’s flip-flopping shows National is prepared to play fast and loose with taxpayers’ money to serve its own interests and, in the case of FATCA, those of the United States.”


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