In the Budget, the Government said asset sales would increase the net worth of the Crown by half a billion dollars because eager mums and dads were going to snap the shares up for more than they were worth on the government books. As we know, it didn’t quite work out that way. The Greens have updated the Budget and found the impact is $1.5 billion worse than expected.
The Greens have plugged the real sales proceeds figures into the Budget table and added in the sales costs that National mysteriously forgot to include.
The sales that were meant to pocket $6b have only netted $3.9b.
Rather than ‘only’ increasing the deficit by $180m by 2017, as the Budget projected, the asset sales so far will actually make it $650m worse. Mainly because the government is saving far less on borrowing than it thought it would, because it has been pocketing less money from the sales.
Rather than increasing the net worth of the Crown by $520m, they’ve decreased it by $959m. Whoops. That’s down to a combination of the bigger deficit hit and getting less for the companies than they were valued at on the Crown’s books, not more as they hoped.
If the sale of Genesis goes ahead, then it will get $120m worse.
Remember, that’s just by 2017. Because we keep on losing the dividends forever, it just gets worse the further you go into the future.
Key, as is his wont, has dissed the Green figures without any real reason. I don’t see him putting up his own numbers either. Because one thing is for sure – the asset sales have earned the Government a hell of a lot less money than they thought it would, and the sales have cost more, yet we’re still losing just as much in dividends. How Key can claim that’s a success and keep a straight face, I don’t know.