This just in from Stuff:
If Solid Energy was partly privatised, it probably would not be in the mess it is in now, Prime Minister John Key says.
Continuing to defend the Government’s sell-down of state assets, Key said today a deal to bailout Solid Energy might not have been necessary had the company been partially floated.
“My own personal view is if we’d had the mixed ownership model applied to Solid Energy, it may well not have gotten itself in the mess it did,” he told Firstline.
“That’s because the external analysis would have rung a lot of bells and demanded a lot more accountability,” he said.
He also said other state-owned assets such as TVNZ and NZ Post, had proven not to be good long-term investments to hold on to.
So let me get this right. Solid Energy is fully under Government Control, subject to Ministerial and Treasury oversight, has in the past been worth a huge dividend flow, and Key thinks that external analysis and oversight would have improved performance?
This is as damning an acknowledgement of failure as you can imagine.
Mind you given this Government’s performance I think that the acknowledgement is appropriate.
The performance has been blighted by such actions as:
Key is right and there is a problem. The solution is not to partially float Solid Energy however. The only solution that will directly address these problems is to change the Government and elect a group of people who are competent.