David Cunliffe has done the maths. National wants to sell $6.8 billion worth of assets and it says they would be bought up by ‘mums and dads’. How much would each household have to invest to keep hold of the assets we already own? Over $4,000. Have you got that kind of money lying around to buy what you already own? Me neither.
Stats says the median household income is $64,000 a year gross and falling. So $4,000 is a big slice of the family budget f0r most Kiwis, even if spread over a number of years. Fact is, most families wouldn’t be able to afford that price to keep what already belongs to us. Just like most Kiwis couldn’t afford to invest when Contact was sold. Then, most of the shares went to big investment firms overseas, and that’s what would happen again.
I’m also a bit confused about why we are meant to rush in to buy these shares in companies we already own when the Finance Minister is claiming that selling them will cost the government hardly anything in lost dividends compared to the revenue. Either they’re a great investment opportunity and the cost to the Crown of selling is large, or they’re low-return and a poor investment. I don’t see how it can be both like Key and English want us to believe.
The truth is these are very important assets that pay dividends that fund our schools and hospitals. Not to mention the fact these are strategic assets, our power generation that underpins our entire economic production. And National is now demanding we pay $4,000 per household or lose them forever.
It’s a bit like the old mafia shakedown. The gangsters have gotten hold of our valuables and now are, kindly, offering to sell them back to us. And if we can’t afford to pay? No worries. They’ll just take our assets to market and sell them to whoever will pay. And they’ll pocket the proceeds in the form of more than half a billion a year in tax cuts for the most wealthy.
The only way to avoid this, as Bill English admitted yesterday, is for us to stand up to the gangsters and take back what’s ours. We get to do that on November 26th.