Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bribing their cronies

Not content with stealing our assets, National are planning to give an extra $400 million of our money to the thieves who buy them:

The Government is offering sweeteners to keep the investing public and coalition partner United Future on side as its partial assets sales bill approaches its final hurdle today.


But with Mighty River shares to be offered to the public and fund managers some time from September onwards, Prime Minister John Key and his Finance Minister, Bill English, have stoked expectations that so-called "mum and dad" investors will be offered a loyalty scheme to encourage them to hold on to their shares.

A recent example was the Queensland Rail float in 2010 where investors were given the chance to buy further shares at a discounted price if they held them for a set period.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said such schemes were a transfer of wealth from all taxpayers to those wealthy enough to buy the shares. As such they were probably unlawful and, in the case of the $5 billion to $7 billion mixed-ownership model programme, could cost the taxpayer up to $400 million.

That's $400 million we won't get to spend on schools, hospitals, and public transport. And it will flow straight into the pockets of the richest New Zealanders.

If you were in any doubt, this should make it clear. Privatisation is not about "freeing up capital" or "getting a good deal for New Zealanders". It is about wealth transfer, pure and simple. It is about taking something which belongs to everyone, and giving it (and its monopoly power and dividend stream) over to the 1%. And then to add insult to injury National is going to give them an extra $400 million on top, just to reward them for buying in.

Privatisation is theft. It is looting the state. And we should not tolerate it.