Bill English setting Solid Energy up to fail

Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party

Solid Energys chairman Mark Ford says the company has a good future a contradiction of Bill Englishs apparent attempts to hand the company to the liquidators, says Labours SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.Clayton Cosgrove
Spokesperson for SOEs

9 May 2013

Bill English setting Solid Energy up to fail

Solid Energy’s chairman Mark Ford says the company has a good future – a contradiction of Bill English’s apparent attempts to hand the company to the liquidators, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.

“Bill English yesterday openly questioned Solid Energy’s future. That must have come as news to Mark Ford who said unambiguously: ‘there’s a good future for the business’.

“Bill English has all the information. He would have known Mark Ford’s views. Yet he still came out on the day of 105 job losses to declare ‘we’re not going to create a business that doesn’t exist just so we can subsidise it’.

“That says to me that Bill English wants Solid Energy gone. He can’t sell it, because he claimed last year that the company was effectively worthless. Rather than admitting that might not be the case he’s going to put it on the scrapheap.

“Bill English is undermining Mark Ford’s efforts to get Solid Energy back on its feet. He should stop playing politics, take responsibility for his role in the company’s failure and start turning it around.

“This is a disgrace. Over 500 people have lost their jobs and the company is $389 million in the red. Just months ago Bill English assured New Zealanders he would not let the company fall over. Now he’s changed his mind and that has a huge impact on the 1700 people will still have a job in the company.

“National had years of warning about Solid Energy’s troubles but it did nothing. Ministers received month to month reports that said the company was in deep financial strife but these same ministers were asleep at the wheel. Now the taxpayer and employees are paying a huge price for that lack of Government oversight and scrutiny.

“Bill English needs to put a stop to this uncertainty and tell New Zealanders and staff at Solid Energy what’s going to happen,” says Clayton Cosgrove.

ENDS

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