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MP who fought asset sales says Nats have learnt nothing

MP who fought asset sales says Nats have learnt nothing

The history of New Zealand’s asset sales shows they don’t reduce debt, don’t stay in New Zealand hands, and don’t remain partial privatisations, Wigram MP Jim Anderton says.

The National Government hasn’t learned the lessons of failure, he says. Jim Anderton left the Lange-Douglas government caucus in 1989 over asset sales and led campaigns against them throughout the eighties and nineties.

“Asset sales didn’t reduce debt.

“After selling $19 billion worth of state-owned companies in the eighties and nineties, New Zealand had MORE debt than when they started. The same thing will happen again: National has given away 14 billion dollars worth of tax cuts, of which $44 million a week is going to the top ten percent of income earners.

“When assets are sold, the revenue stream they contribute to the government is also lost. Currently the energy SOES contribute over $600 million a year to public coffers. When they are sold, that revenue will go as well - mainly to overseas investors.

“Privatised SOEs quickly fall into foreign hands.

“Assets, once sold, quickly end up overseas-owned. Contact Energy and Auckland Airport were both meant to be sold to Kiwi ‘Mums and Dad’ investors. But Contact is owned by Australia’s Origin Energy. Auckland Airport was only stopped from going to a Canadian pension fund by a decision of the last government that National criticised.

“Partially privatised assets soon get wholly privatised.

“The Bank of New Zealand was the first asset sold - It was partially privatised in the eighties and National finished it off a few years later.

“So-called ‘partial privatisation’ is just a staging post on the way to the whole lot going.”

“Everything John Key says about asset sales has been said before and it wouldn’t be any different this time around.”


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