Damien Grant is one of Granny Herald's resident twits. I suspect, based only on what he writes, that his employment at the Herald continues because he makes the other columnists look good (even when many of them are not).
This weekend Damien wrote about Watercare's connection charges.
And at The Standard, RedLogix demolished Damien's arguments.
I'm not a big fan of Watercare and their corporatised model of water distribution. However, development charges are something they do in a transparent manner and a decent journalist with some understanding of the issues could pull the development charges to bits, if they were unfair. Needless to say, Damien does not even make an attempt.
So, apart from what Redlogix raised (essentially an unfair comparison is made, based on implied and incorrect assumptions), what was wrong with Damien Grant's piece?
He missed the opportunity to examine whether telecommunications companies are cross-subsidising, and if so by how much, and why?
He missed the opportunity to examine what effect the UFB initiative, a $1.5B government subsidy, has had on how costs are allocated within the industry. And to ask whether it should have been the private sector that funded UFB instead?
The actual costs of a water connection are pretty much fixed. Suggesting that the proportion paid by developers should be lowered are not suggesting the total cost should be lowered, because such a suggestion is stupid. Rather, what they are suggesting is that the difference should be paid by the existing customers. Which is another way of suggesting that the existing customers provide a subsidy. That developers should be allowed to dip into everyone else's pockets so that developers can make more of a profit.
In the same way that the privatised gas and comms utilities that Damien Grant holds such a high opinion of do. No, thanks, I've had enough of being fleeced.
Therapy? - Troublegum, 1994