Seems the Nats’ privatisation bill has just passed its final reading. The expected result was 61:60, with Peter Dunne’s crucial vote in favour cast in absentia. The Nats short circuited the select committee process and rushed this thing through because they want to get it done before the public opposition gets even stronger. The fact that most Kiwis don’t really understand what’s happening suits them just fine. Future generations will understand just fine though, and they’ll know who to blame.
Earlier in the day I/S at No Right Turn wrote:
The government’s privatisation bill will go through its final reading today. So who benefits from it?
Firstly, there’s the rich, who will purchase the SOEs, redirecting the dividend stream (and any capital gains) from the public purse into their own private pockets (this category includes many MPs, including John Key).
Secondly, there’s the financial industry, who will be paid $120 million by the government to sell us our own assets, and who will clip the ticket on every share sale into the bargain.
And thirdly, there’s the SOE directors themselves, who stand to see their fees double simply because of the change in ownership structure. Those fees, of course, will be paid for by higher power prices paid by ordinary kiwis.
Note who doesn’t benefit: ordinary kiwis. We’ll be facing reduced public services due to the loss of the SOE dividend stream, while being charged higher prices to meet the new owners’ rapacious demand for profits. And then, in a decade or so, when they’ve run it into the ground and asset stripped it, we’ll have to buy it back.
Sounds about right.
There’s no mandate for this sale, and the proponents of it still can’t articulate any advantages (beyond a short term cash injection to try and cover up their multiple economic failures). They’re quite literally selling our country down the river.