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Nats rebel on privatisation

Written By: - Date published: 5:17 pm, August 13th, 2011 - 27 comments
Categories: bill english, privatisation, same old national - Tags:

English is facing attacks at the Nat conference over asset sales. The neolibs vultures treat the state as a carcass to pick clean. But old school conservatives believe in investing the nation. And business types know you don’t get rich by selling profitable assets. English – who is all ideology, no practical experience: straight from uni to Treasury to Parliament – has no good excuses. All he can offer is expensive measures that make selling even more unprofitable.

According to Stuff:

State asset sales are proving to be a bone of contention even within National’s own ranks as its grassroots members question whether crucial assets will be flogged off overseas.

The government has struggled to reassure Kiwis that its plan to sell a 49 per cent stake in the remaining state owned power companies won’t see them end up in foreign ownership.

But it also appears to have done a poor selling job among its own members with Finance Minister Bill English facing questions from party members during a public session of the National Party conference in Wellington today.

Mr English said the government was working on ways to ensure Kiwi investors were at the front of the queue but acknowledged there was no way to stop them selling shares to overseas buyers.

If the government tried to ban the sale of shares overseas “it wouldn’t be a market”.

One option was to introduce a “loyalty” scheme similar to some which operated overseas and rewarded people for taking a long term stake.

How much of the sales revenue would that eat up? We already know that lost dividends will outweigh revenue after a decade or so. Add in subsidies for local buyers and the hundreds of millions the ‘middlemen sales advisers’ will pocket, and that equation just gets worse.

27 comments on “Nats rebel on privatisation”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    I should think that putting any money towards a loyalty scheme totally destroys the point of doing the privatisation in the first place. If you’re not going to book the full sale value as revenue (minus necessary sales fees of course), WTFs the point?

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      The merchant bankers facilitating the asset sales would still get their cut.

      And the new foreign owners will simply raise power prices to everyone in order to account for any “loyalty scheme”.

  2. George 2

    Shows quite clearly where the Labour voter has moved to. Joined the Nats. as a slightly nicer left party.
    Labour has no reason for being any longer. Blue collar unionism is history and the younger generations find little need for that kind of policy.
    Labour now irrelevant.

    • mik e 2.1

      Is that why Berlusconi has raised taxes on the rich maybe they are stealing not only every bodies money through the merchant bankers but left wing policies as well! to pay it back

  3. drum 3

    How is it that we can’t make money out of our state owned enterprises but the moment it goes private it posts record profits at the expense of all New Zealanders… ?
    And as usual the majority of those profits will head offshore yet again.

    I would say Bill English can’t balance the cheque book.. and that has been his problem since he took on the finance portfolio.
    Wrong guy in the job .

    • bbfloyd 3.1

      “wrong guy for the job”…make a list out of the national front bench… figure out how many really should be there… scary eh?

    • KJT 3.2

      Oil Refinery.
      Cost to refurbish before sale. 300 million.
      Sale price 300 million.
      Profit on first year after sale 300 million.

      • mik e 3.2.1

        The sell off proposed by borrowing bill English is dumb why would you sell assets that are returning 17.6% per annum return while your borrowings are at 5.5%per annum dumb idea!Then sell those assets at half price dumb idea again although we come to expect that from a finance minister who can only manage less than 1% growth in five years as finance minister.

  4. Drakula 4

    “There was no way to stop them selling shares to overseas buyers” Too true furthermore large corporations could be paying compradore’s to buy shares on their behalf.

    And the compradore does very well thank you very much.

    Yes many of the traditional conservatives have the same doubt as the above quote but how many of those left on that sinking ship?

    Not worth the risk in taking even those moderates at their word and further more I wouldn’t even take Phil Goff at his word either. (I will go into that more on the Goff thread)

    Sad to say I am totally disillusioned with the partisan political system if we want to get anywhere we must learn how to strike for it!!!!

    Lenin: 1 strike = 11 elections !!!

  5. Marjorie Dawe 5

    I remember working in the Post Office before and after it split into 3 SOEs and then Postbank and Telecom were sold. Our government spent a huge amount of money bringing the companies to a profitable statebefore they sold them. The same happened when I moved to the BNZ. We staff members had trouble figuring out why our mates were made redundant and huge money paid out but then figured out that they could be sold easier to the wealthy vultures after that money had been spent. We figured it wasnt about the government being in or out of business but rather was a way to ensure that asset stripping friends could be looked after. I have no doubt that our Nats intend to sell valuable assets at less than what they are worth (state houses? NZ Rail? Air NZ? Public Trust? etc etc) and that they have forgotten that once we dont own our assets we are at the mercy of the new owners. Short term gain = long term pain.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Actually its more like:

      Long term gain for the few and the foreign
      Long term pain for the many and New Zealand.

  6. Even National Party members realize it is a wonderful investment and why would you let overseas own it?

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Many National party supporters are ‘small c’ conservatives who haven’t realised that their entire party is run by neoliberals taking orders from foreign bankers.

      Perhaps they are realising now.

      • handle 6.1.1

        I agree. The progressive left should be working together with those genuine conservatives to stop further dismantling of our children’s future by a small group of destructive right-wingers.

  7. Craig Glen Eden 7

    So hang on selling assets is one of Nationals major policy planks and they havent worked out how to protect the shares sold to NZers so they dont get sold to foreigners.

    How come the MSM is not SCREAMING how poorly thought out this is where is the derision for English and Key.

    If this was Labour we would have Guyon ,Duncan bagging Goff saying this just isnt going to fly its not good enough how poor bla bla. Im waiting for them to start calling for English’s head questioning Key’s leadership, I mean after all how could a so called leader let someone have the purse strings of the country and not have worked this out.

    • idlegus 7.1

      nope, little paddy on tv3 was joking about what theme tune national was gonna use this year, ‘eye of the tiger?’ he quipped…write the theme tune, sing the theme tune…indepth!

    • Reality Bytes 7.2

      I suppose in tough times most of the MSM lackeys are worried about job security, like many folks in other fields, they too are concerned about their jobs. And job security for them looks especially about towing the righty line these days, especially with guys like Murdoch wanting to buy tv3 + co. If that happens, they will be expected to behave like the Fox news channel of NZ.

      And even if Mordok doesn’t buy em, in these ‘who cares about crap tv times’ they are becoming more and more irrelevant, so to keep broadcasting stuff that even has some pulse of relevance; they have to avoid pissing off too many celeb-politicians(bosses).

  8. tc 8

    Perhaps were seeing the old hands realizing that sideshow, his banker mates, Blinglish and such toxic associates like Joyce will do a lot more long term damage to the brand than Shipley, Bolger, Muldoon combined. Bit late really if that is the case, deals done.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      old timer and “small c” conservative National Supporters should vote Winston Peters and New Zealand First.

      They need to realise that Key, English and Joyce are neoliberals who are selling off their grandchildren’s country to foreign bankers and foreign bidders.

      • Lanthanide 8.1.1

        But they can’t because Key has already ruled out Winston.

        Small c conservatives would rather see a moderate National government than a Labour government moderated by Winston (look what happened last time).

        So they should really vote United Future. Which is partly why National is pimping them so hard (Key is going to speak at their party conference).

  9. randal 9

    English is a fool who has never read a book in his life unless it was about cars or tourist destinations. He has the mind of an advertising brochure and the instincts of a lamprey.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      English is a career bureaucrat who has been sucking on the public sector teat his whole life while complaining at length about other career bureacrats sucking on the public sector teat.

  10. Deb 10

    Since when did 2 questions from the floor on privatisation from among 400 delegates become a rebellion.

    Nice try Tracey Watkins, but hyperbole much!

  11. randal 11

    carving up the infrastructure for the benefit of a few is anathema to anybody who puts the cohesion of their society ahead of the venal desires of a few

  12. mik e 12

    Deb you are quite happy to have your assets sold of at less than half price then. It just shows how gullible New Zealanders are!

  13. mik e 13

    Now we have sir Michael Fay coming out against selling of land to foreigners, pity he didn’t take his own advice a bit sooner!

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