National has already booked the revenue from asset sales – despite people opposing them 4 to 1. The Budget docs say capital spending will be funded from the ‘balance sheet’: ie. buying new assets like schools and hospitals with revenue from selling the power companies. Key will re-announce this today. But we don’t need to sell profitable assets to buy new ones.
So, when National announces new schools or whatever today ‘funded by asset sales’ remember that this is nothing new. It’s already in the books. And that this investment could be paid for without selling our profitable assets overseas if Key hadn’t given $2.8 billion a year of tax cuts to the rich.
And, also remember that, if National is re-elected and sells these assets, within a decade we will have lost more in foregone dividends than the sales revenue. National has not counted the loss of dividends in its budget forecasts.
Selling assets will mean we are less able to invest in new assets in the future.
Update: as expected, Key has re-accounced what is already in the Budget and given it a fancy new name.