Friday, May 21, 2010

The other shoe drops

Now that he's handed out enormous tax cuts to his rich mates, Bill English is working on National's other core policy: privatising our state assets:

Finance Minister Bill English has signalled the Government is again considering partial state asset sales - including Kiwibank.

At a post-Budget lunch in Christchurch today, English told business leaders that National would "get to grips'' with its position on state asset sales in the next eight months.

He revealed the Government was conducting a stock-take of its assets and their worth and would produce an "investment statement'' next year.

''It seems to me, and I have checked this, that there is a strong demand among the mums and dads for a Kiwi investment model and if we put product into the market people would buy it. Would I be right about that?''

A few hands went up in the room.

''In fact I think there would be a bigger proportion of the population than that would have a crack at it. So we will have a think about it,'' English said.

Of course, when English talks about "mum and dad" investors, he's not talking about ordinary kiwis - we don't invest in the sharemarket because we don't trust it (we were taken for suckers in 1987 by the business class. Never again). Instead, he's talking about "mums and dads" like himself. What privatisation is about is taking the revenue from a state monopoly away from the public, where it is used to fund things like schools and hospitals, and instead diverting those monopoly profits into their own pockets. Like tax cuts, like PPPs and contracting out, its just another way the rich loot the state for their own advantage.