The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on the Government to rule out subsidising the oil refinery operations at Marsden Point, following claims that jobs may be lost due to the refinery operations possibly being shut down.
Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “Threatening an import-only model at Marsden Point is a classic case of industry lobbyists trying to turn a profit in election year by pressuring politicians for a handout.”
“Refining NZ, First Union, and the Northland Chamber of Commerce know that Northland is a contested electoral seat. They’re trying to take advantage of Shane Jones, taxpayer be damned. They know that a taxpayer-funded subsidy to keep an uncompetitive refinery open would be a classic move for New Zealand First.”
“The Prime Minister should rule out any kind of bailout, subsidy, or tariff. Intervention would send a message to other businesses that they don’t have to be competitive if they play the political game. Ultimately, local taxpayers and consumers would be left on the hook to prop up local refining when it’s more efficient to refine fuel internationally.”
“This situation has concerning echoes of the situation at Tiwai Point. In 2013 Rio Tinto threatened closure and was granted a $30 million bailout, only to make the same threat again with cap in hand a few years later. Now the corporate lobbyists are having a go in Northland.”
“Banana republics subsidise refining operations. Let’s not join them.”