So, that’s National’s great big plan: get rid of our electricity assets and use the cash to build more prisons. Not much of a brighter future there. National still hasn’t come up with a convincing reason why we would sell highly profitable monopolistic companies. Instead, we’ve seen a series of weak excuses. Now, English has revealed the truth.
English looked very uncomfortable in the House yesterday.
Hon David Cunliffe: Why is he promoting a policy that he described today at the Finance and Expenditure Committee as “selling hydro dams to buy prisons”, when the return on those hydro dams averaged 17 percent in the last 5 years and he himself calls prisons a moral and fiscal failure?
Hon BILL ENGLISH: There seems to be some confusion about the return on State-owned enterprises. A figure of $700 million of dividends has been quoted, which is not, in fact, correct. That actually exceeds the Crown’s dividends from all sources—State-owned enterprises, Crown entities, and Crown research institutes. The true figure for dividends from State-owned enterprises is probably about $350 million, and the member might find that that changes his calculations.
Typical English, this. He avoids re-confirming what he said and pedantically argues over a minor point in an attempt to distract, while not denying the quote. Well, we’re not distracted because English has let the plan slip.
In National’s vision of the future, our assets are owned by foreign companies and the government focuses on ‘law and order’ to keep the population in line. English is simply making it happen.
We need a government whose ambition for New Zealand is set a lot higher than this.