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Labour Won’t Say Whether it Would Support Smelter Bailou

Press Release – The Nation

Labours SOE spokesman, Clayton Cosgrove, says he cannot say whether the party would support any bailout of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter.Labour Won’t Say Whether it Would Support Smelter Bailout

Labour’s SOE spokesman, Clayton Cosgrove, says he cannot say whether the party would support any bailout of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter.

Speaking today on TV3’s “The Nation” he said he couldn’t say what Labour would do until it knew the dollars that would be involved.

“We’d look at intervention absolutely, but I can’t with any credibility say without seeing any of the dollars that Tony Ryall won’t front up about, that we just write a blank cheque,” he said.

Mr Cosgrove’s hint that the party might favour a bailout came amidst Labour Party sensitivity over what it claims was a misreporting of its Finance Spokesman, David Parker on the issue.

Mr Parker was quoted on Thursday as saying the Government should “walk away” from the smelter.

Mr Parker was invited to appear on “The Nation” but Labour instead offered Mr Cosgrove.

Mr Cosgrove said that what Mr Parker was talking about was “a number of scenarios that should be examined in terms of the national interest.”

Mr Cosgrove called on the Government to open its books so the public could evaluate the scenarios.

“What the Government actually has to do is come out and say to the people of New Zealand right here are all the choices we have, here are all the numbers that we’re going to spend.

“They’re going to move on a subsidy on this company for one reason, not about jobs, they’re doing this to keep the sale of the SOEs on the road. 

That means the poor old taxpayer will pay for the subsidy and pay for the higher electricity prices and then Kiwis are being asked to invest in a company they already own.”

ENDS

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