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Key: pay cuts for you, backhanders for my mates

Written By: - Date published: 11:47 am, February 21st, 2008 - 32 comments
Categories: economy, john key, national - Tags: , ,

moneysuitcase.jpgEven as he flounders from one excuse to the next over his ‘we would love to see wages drop’ statement, it has emerged that John Key is offering hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to his big business mates.

Key promised a $200 million suspensory loan to a new merger of Southland meat exporters. Not $200 million on hospitals, not $200 million on public transport; $200 in an export subsidy for big business.

International trade law prohibits export subsidies because they distort free-trade. As an export-dependent nation, New Zealand needs free trade for access to markets. If we break the rules others will make it harder for us to export.

But that doesn’t matter to Key. He wants the support, and no doubt donations, of a wealthy meat exporter. So, on the hoof, as it were, he promised the company $200 million. Then, ‘When National Party finance spokesman Bill English ambled across the paddock, Mr Key quickly told him “I’ve just committed you to a suspensory loan”. Apparently unfazed, Mr English replied: “As long as it’s under $200 million I don’t mind”.

If he were PM, Key would cut our wages by enacting regressive labour laws, at the same time as dolling out corporate welfare to companies that don’t need, putting our exports’ market access at risk. This is dangerous stuff coming from the mouth of a man who clearly isn’t up to the serious business of running New Zealand but will do and say anything to get the job.

32 comments on “Key: pay cuts for you, backhanders for my mates ”

  1. I know Talley’s have recently ventured into the meat industry down south. I also know they have offered a lot of money (and other services) to the National Party in the past and are known as really shitty employers. I wonder how much they would stand to gain from this “loan”?

  2. Santi 2

    Should the title be: “Clark: Honours for you, backhanders for my mates’?

    It would be far more appropriate giving the stench surrounding the Glenn Owens affair, which by the way is almost ignored by this distinguished, impartial and intellectual blog (with the dishonourable exception of Michael Porton).

  3. Phil 3

    Steve, what are you on? You must be getting dizzy with all this spin…

    Meat exporters are anything but wealthy – they’ve taken huge hits recently as prices have fallen through the floor (unlike their dairy farming ‘cousins’) and are facing reduced income from the effects of a drought. The 200mln is in that respect no different from the Labour partys existing rescue package for farmers nationally.

    The merger of meat exporters makes simple financial sense, in exactly the same way the fonterra grouping has been a success.

  4. Tane 4

    The Owen Glenn beatup’s been covered twice here in recent days Santi.

    Owen Glenn

    Bursting the bauble

    I agree with you when you say “stench” – that’s exactly what it is. When Bill English said it “leaves a bad smell” on Morning Report that’s all he ever intended to do.

    How about you go to the threads I’ve linked to if you want to talk about Glenn? Oh, that’s right, you’re a troll. How easy it is to forget sometimes…

  5. Steve Pierson 5

    Phil. Emergency relief in a drought or other disaster is totally different from an export subsidy.

    Santi. We’ve covered the Glenn beat-up several times. There’s nothing to it. He got an honour for donating $7.5 million to a business school, having been nominated by his friend Howard Morrison. Would you prefer that people displaying such outstanding generosity are not honoured?

  6. Bart 6

    200 Million for hospitals? Why, Labour have already spend 4 billion and our health service is the best in the developed world!

    Isn’t it?

  7. Phil 8

    Steve, this isn’t an export subsidy – you’re woefully off the mark in using that terminology.

  8. r0b 9

    200 Million for hospitals? Why, Labour have already spend 4 billion and our health service is the best in the developed world!

    Isn’t it?

    No Bart, it isn’t the best, it’s only second.

    See the 2004 report issued by the New York-based Commonwealth Fund. Their survey ranked New Zealand’s health system second among the six developed countries it covered. Germany is ranked first. We came in ahead of Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.


    Of course, what will happen to our Health system if Key starts cutting wages is another question entirely…

  9. Phil 10

    “Owen who? Oh that’s right:

    Peter Wilsons writing style is an awful lot like uber-retard and rent-a-ranter, John Minto. Are they one and the same?

  10. Billy 11

    “As an export-dependent nation, New Zealand needs free trade for access to markets.”

    I have made a contemporaneous diary note, and will hold you to this comment, Steve. I haven’t noticed Labour being immune from corporate welfare. Remember Jim’s brave boat builders in West Auckland?

  11. ak 12

    Soooo…. $200 million of hard-working tax-payers’ money is committed on the hoof in a paddock without telling the leader.


    The press reaction to this will be very revealing. If this story is ignored or minimised (as opposed to any number of recent anti-Labour beat-ups over nothing), then you may as well hang up your keyboards lefties: it’ll be proof positive that the media is irretrievably gone to the dark side.
    Sadly, the TV news and the dailies really are the “opinion leaders” for the fickle middle voters who decide our future.

  12. Tane 13

    Peter Wilson is political editor at NZPA and is a well respected journalist. His comments were echoed in today’s Molesworth and Featherston. This story is a beatup, no matter how much Davey tries to, um, beat it up.

  13. Phil – I just click your link and it doesn’t exist. A bit like the evidence for the Owen Glenn “scandal” really…

  14. The Double Standard 15

    How does this compare against Teh Party’s legislation that created Fonterra?

    Or the virtual nationalisation of Air New Zealand?

    Or the likely nationalisation of the Toll Rail?

  15. Pablo 16

    “$200 million of hard-working tax-payers’ money is committed on the hoof in a paddock without telling the leader”

    Freudian slip designed to outrage the KB Right? Key made it up on the spot & told English about it a few minutes later. Still, they seem to be making the co-leader approach work fairly smoothly, you can barely see English’s lips move when Key speaks.

  16. How does this compare against Teh Party’s legislation that created Fonterra?

    Or the virtual nationalisation of Air New Zealand?

    Or the likely nationalisation of the Toll Rail?

    You can do better than that TDS – it’s different because we didn’t pay for Fonterra, we got an Airline when we paid for Air NZ and if we bought out Toll we’d get a railway company. In this case we pay our money and we get… Oh that’s right we don’t get anything.

    So anyway TDS I haven’t figured out if you’re Francis or not – if your not can you pass on my regards…

  17. Oops – should be “you’re” not “your”. Never mind Frank, you get my point.

    Captcha: “savages the” – it knows this place well

  18. all_your_base 19

    Pablo, you’re right about the lips but the hand up the **** jacket is a dead give-away.


  19. Pablo 20

    A_Y_B it is scandalous that you should have a picture of Key on the piss in the House.

  20. Billy 21

    “…if your not can you pass on my regards

    “You’re not”, surely.

  21. Um Billy, I corrected myself. Perhaps you need to work on your reading and comprehension? Surely.

  22. Oh and I also note we both failed to put question marks at the end of our questions. maybe we could go halves in some lessons?

  23. The Double Standard 24

    Yes, but did any ‘big businessmen’ get money from the government in the process, since that seems to be the ‘crime of the day’

    Remarkable hypocrisy from Anderton I would have thought, given that he pissed away hundreds of millions on his ‘jobs machine’ fiasco.

    It got so embarrassing that Mallard had to clean up the mess a bit as new minister of economic development.

    Remember Sovereign Yachts?

    And in a strange coincidence, up pops…

    wait for it …..

    Owen Glenn!!!!

    “Some would be surprised to know that out at Hobsonville, west of Auckland, Bill Lloyd, of Sovereign Yachts, is still in business.

    As for his own production, he admits he has fallen short of expectations, but now he has a wealthy investor keen on becoming involved. Owen Glenn, an expatriate New Zealander living in Sydney, who became a multi-millionaire in the logistics and freight-forwarding business, owns the 112ft yacht Ubiquitous, and wants to build mega-yachts with Lloyd.

    Glenn says he is disappointed by what happened to the New Zealand marine industry and wants to see it back on top of the world.

    “You don’t see New Zealand being mentioned as often as it was in the past,” Glenn says. “I just think New Zealand almost strangles itself on the world stage. It’s almost embarrassed by its success.”

    He thinks New Zealand is losing business to places which have state support, such as Australia.

    ‘The New Zealand Government needs to be a bit more open-minded, to clear the way. You need the Government right in there.’ ”

    So I guess Key is just picking up on some of Glenn’s thoughts this week eh?

  24. Billy 25

    Sorry, didn’t see your subsequent comment. I must have been looked at an old page. Mine wasn’t a question.

  25. Um, Billy “You’re not’, surely. really can only be interpreted as a question and thus requires the requisite punctuation.

  26. Billy 27

    I will admit to problems with “been looked”. No more.

  27. To help the standardistas out, I’ve made a new masthead for you. Just click on my website link. I think if you use this it’ll help the casual reader understand what this site stands for a bit quick than if the have to read a few posts.

    cap: Clinton included WTF!

  28. Oh dear – you really have no life do you, Frank?

  29. I’m afraid you’ve lost me there Mickey. Who’s Frank?

    Or are you just trolling again? Do try and keep up a reasonable discussion will you.

  30. Billy 31

    Watch out TDS, they’ll get you on some copyright thing.

  31. Draco TB 32

    The merger of meat exporters makes simple financial sense, in exactly the same way the fonterra grouping has been a success.

    So, monopolies makes financial sense?
    I could have sworn that all these Big Business types (not to mention my economics papers) have been telling us for the last 20 years that competition makes better financial sense. Something about driving prices lower while also increasing quality.

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