Friday, November 11, 2011

On asset sales

Why on earth can Mr Key the National Government not bring itself to say:

Mr Goff and the Labour Party are simply wrong about this. For the last 20 years, all over the world, in governments of left, centre and right wing disposition and from Poland to Africa to the United Kingdom and to Australia, have progressively sold the last of their state owned assets to their citizens’ benefit.

They have done this, as ironically Mr Goff’s own government did in the 1980s, because governments  end up being consistently poor stewards of those assets compared with others and because taxpayers do not “own” the assets in any meaningful sense.

Like everyone else, it behoves us to capture at least some of the value that partial sale will bring while that value remains intact. The sales process will also deliver us whatever value might arise in the future – through how this utterly basic piece of finance works eludes Mr Goff and his colleagues.

We no longer have the time to rehearse arguments which have no policy content and were settled long ago – there are more pressing matters to be addressed.

Telling it like it is would make more sense than conjuring up dreamboat slush funds or promising to gamble asset sale proceeds in state owned banks.

Brent

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