Friday, March 14, 2014

A gift to the rich

Yesterday the government announced the details of its privatisation of Genesis Energy, including a discounted price, generous bonus scheme, and huge dividend. Clearly, they're trying to make it highly tempting to buyers who have already been burned by Might River Power and Meridian. But think about it for a moment: this is public money they're giving away. Every cent off the price is money the public doesn't get, every bonus share money the public has to spend, every extra dollar of dividend a dollar pillaged. This isn't getting the best value for New Zealand; its not even pretending. Instead its just an outright gift to the wealthy (who will no doubt then tell us how deserving they are for being "clever" enough to have such generous patrons).

There can no longer be any doubt: privatisation is inherently corrupt, a mechanism by which the government transfers public wealth into the hands of donors and cronies. And the public should be quite clear to those participating: if you buy Genesis shares, you are a thief.