Friday, February 14, 2014

Taken for a ride

Last year, the government agreed to subsidise foreign-owned Rio Tinto to the tune of $30 million. At the time they were pleading poverty; now its clear that they played us for suckers:

In a year where its aluminium subsidiary was able to extract a $30m payout from New Zealand taxpayers, world mining giant Rio Tinto has delivered a larger than expected profit and dividend - despite the prices of most of its products falling.

Rio's underlying profit in 2013 was up 10 per cent on the previous year to US$10.2 billion, above analysts' expectations of $9.7 billion.

Net profit, which included impairments, was $3.7 billion.

That $30 million could have paid for a full school lunch program which would have made a serious difference to child poverty. Instead, its gone straight into the pockets of this company's foreign shareholders. That noise you can hear is them laughing all the way to the bank (and trampling over hungry kids to get there).

And this is National's "better economic management" in a nutshell: robbing kiwi kids to subsidise foreign fatcats. Isn't it time we had a government which actually worked for us, not big business?