Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The Coalminers Song

With no good basis I suspect the brakes are going on the asset sales and privatisation programme.  It's good to see Solid Energy off the list of assets for sale.  I'd like to think it's in disarray, though that might be an exaggeration at the moment, I have no doubt that National MPs are under substantial pressure over asset sales.  While that can't be pleasant, I have no sympathy for them.
The interim Waitangi Tribunal report on Maori proprietary interests in water is due out on Friday.  I am certain it will confirm the presence of a spanner in the works of the government's plans.

It's nice to see that National have their website up to date, and Solid Energy is off the list there too.  Not so many months ago their website was an anachronism and a mess.  There's this lovely quote from Bill English on asset sales:
"....the Government gets to free up $5 billion to $7 invest in other public assets like modern schools and hospitals, without having to borrow in volatile overseas markets.Our political opponents need to honestly explain to New Zealanders why it would be better to borrow this $5 billion to $7 billion from overseas lenders at a time when the world is awash with debt and consequent risks."
And that contrasts beautifully with the government's decision to allow transport infrastructure, through NZTA, to be loan funded, as explained by Phil Twyford in a question to Gerry Brownlee:
Phil Twyford: Is the plan to allow the New Zealand Transport Agency to borrow—the new plan, that is, not the existing power to borrow merely for cash-flow purposes—a response to the projected $1.5 billion shortfall in the National Land Transport Fund by 2020, or the scenario of a $4.5 billion shortfall from 2021 to 2030?
So it's not OK to borrow to fund investment in schools and hospitals, but it is OK to borrow about the same amount to fund investment in roads?

The conspiracy theorist in me sees a link between the donations made by the Road Transport Forum to National's election campaigns and contrasts it to the relative lack of support for government policy in the health and education sector.  But surely that's just a figment of my imagination.

The Gordons - The Gordons, 1981

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