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NZ Must Reject OECD's Public Privatization Call

NZ must reject OECD call to privatise essential public services

“It’s beyond belief that the OECD is calling on New Zealand to privatise essential public services at a time when governments around the world are bailing out the private sector because of its financial mismanagement,” says Public Service Association national secretary Richard Wagstaff.

The OECD has today released its 2009 economic survey of New Zealand. The OECD advices the government to privatise essential publicly owned services like accident compensation and health.

“Is the OECD unaware that the world is in the grip of the worst recession since the 1930s and that governments are spending billions of dollars to bail out banks, car makers and the world’s biggest insurance company?” asks Richard Wagstaff.

“Despite the fact that the United States government has had to step in and affectively buy AIG, the world’s biggest insurance company, the OECD says New Zealanders should be relying on insurance companies to provide an essential service like accident compensation.”

“This defies logic and shows the OECD has learnt nothing from the current financial crisis.”

“It also appears that that OECD has no idea that privatising public assets and services in New Zealand has proved disastrous in the past.”

“New Zealand governments had to buy back our rail service and national airline after they were privatised.”

“Our railways were asset stripped under private ownership and Air New Zealand was on the point of collapse when it was bought back by the government in 2001.”

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“Privatising accident compensation in the late 1990s was a nightmare for accident victims.”

“Claiming accident compensation from insurance companies proved so complicated that in some cases patients simply gave up and abandoned their treatment. This failed privatisation was scrapped in 2000.”

“Our history of privatisation and the massive bailout of the private sector occurring around the world is graphic evidence of the risks involved in privatising services that we all rely on.”

“This is why we must firmly reject the OECD’s discredited advice to privatise essential publicly-owned services like accident compensation and health,” says Richard Wagstaff.


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