John Key continues to let his attack dog do his business, and take the heat. So on Saturday there’s some more heat with a big Day Of Action to fight Rodney’s latest nasty bill.
The Bill also removes a lot of consultation with the public about whether to sell assets or if a major development is going on in your area; creates a list of ‘core services’ for councils to focus on (excluding things like pensioner housing, the environment and economic development); and puts in place rate caps based on those in Colorado, where you can pay $100 to have your local streetlight turned on, and the transit system has all but shut down.
The experience from London to Bolivia to well… New Zealand is that on privatisation water rates go up 50% in 4 years, investment goes down, and profits increase markedly – but are then shipped back to France where the private water firms are based. If systems are leased (as proposed), they are also generally run into the ground near the end of the lease to save the private company money – at the public’s expense. Monopolies like water make absolutely no sense to put in private hands – there is no reason for the firms not to gouge profits out. Councils can be tempted however, as although the long term cost is greater (after covering a private firm’s higher borrowing costs plus profit), it removes things from the balance sheet, making the accounts look healthier.
The Colorado experience is really worth looking at – it is terrifying in the extreme, but it’s Rodney’s wet dream.
Come on down, and stand up against NAct’s latest attack on democracy.