Listen to the people on asset sales, John

Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party

Labour is calling on the Government to take its fingers out of its ears over asset sales and listen to the result of the November/December referendum, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.David
CUNLIFFE
Labour Leader

30 September 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT
Listen to the people on asset sales, John

Labour is calling on the Government to take its fingers out of its ears over asset sales and listen to the result of the November/December referendum, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.

“Labour is pleased John Key has announced a date for the Citizens’ Initiated Referendum on asset sales but the timing is cynical. He wants the referendum buried before summer beer and barbeques washes it away.

“In its arrogance, the Government has refused to believe the majority of Kiwis don’t want asset sales. This referendum gives voters the chance to have their say.

“We expect voters to send the Government a powerful message about its partial privatisation programme. The result will kick the last leg out of John Key’s moral authority to sell public assets.

“The Prime Minister says spending $9 million on the referendum is a waste of money but the Government has already given $124 million to the ticket-clippers like investment banks and law firms. National has also thinks nothing of spending $30 million to push the Tiwai closure out to the 2017 election.

“Labour suggested the Government could hold the referendum at the next election to reduce the cost — if asset sales were put on hold until then — but our offer was rebuffed.

“A One News-Colemar Brunton poll earlier this year found 61 per cent of voters didn’t support the Government’s mixed ownership model.

“Why is John Key so hell-bent on seeing through his unpopular programme? With a flawed economic case behind it, asset sales are now about the Prime Minister’s pride and political vanity,” David Cunliffe says.

ENDS

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