Let's stop pretending that National isn't privatizing NZ
PPPs will start fire sale of state assets - Labour
The Government's move towards public-private partnerships (PPPs) for big projects is facing mounting criticism.
Labour says it will inevitably lead to fire sales of state-owned assets.
Finance Minister Bill English announced the new policy on Wednesday, saying Government agencies would have to consider PPPs for projects costing more than $25 million.
"We'd rather be providing a high-quality public service that the public can rely on than sitting on our hands watching services go downhill because we won't use tools that everyone else uses," he said.
But Labour, the Greens, trade unions and the Public Service Association have said PPPs make no sense and create risks for taxpayers.
"This is one more desperate ploy by a Government with no coherent plan for growing the economy or creating jobs," Labour finance spokesman David Cunliffe said yesterday. "It desperately hopes the private sector will finance projects it lacks the vision, courage or resources to do itself."
Mr Cunliffe said PPPs were a sop to private interests, and had nothing to do with prudent asset management.
"It will inevitably lead to bad decision-making, fire sales of Crown assets and higher capital costs for taxpayers," he said.
"Negotiating PPPs with savvy investment banks requires specialist skills most Crown entities don't have, so National's one-size-fits-all approach risks taxpayers being taken for a ride."
If John Key thought he could privatize the NZ continental shelf, he'd try it on. By setting the level at $25 million for PPP's, infrastructure becomes a free for all lolly scramble for National's business mates, so let's stop pretending that this isn't a privatization agenda.
Cross City Tunnel in Sydney was a PPP, and went bankrupt owing $687 million, Macquarie Bank in Indiana and Chicargo was a PPP and has built toll roads that will be tolled for 100 years while in Britain the PPP plan to fix London’s underground ended up costing the Government $5 billion after the companies went broke, why the hell we would suddenly open the PPP floodgates based at a mere $25 million seems criminal in its negligence.
Add this privatization of our assets to the bennie bashing and the attacks on workers, and one quickly realizes that merchant bankers don't change their spots or their Hawaiian mansions.