Corporate shill Matthew Hooton calls out David Cunliffe for his own version of crony capitalism.
The most disappointing aspect of John Keyâ€™s government is its tendency toward crony capitalism and corporate welfare.
Most passionately debated were the tax breaks and employment law changes for the movie industry after lobbying fromÂ Sir Peter JacksonÂ andWarner Bros.
TheÂ SkyCity dealÂ involved the government foregoing future revenues from casino relicensing to get a Convention Centre at no immediate cost.
TheÂ Tiwai Point aluminium smelter, with annual revenues of over $1 billion, was given a one-off handout of $30 million, an amount which cannot materially improve its viability.
The government tried to keep prices for broadband and landlines artificially high to subsidiseÂ Chorus.
These are the best-known examples but seldom does a week go by withoutÂ Steven JoyceÂ announcing a new handout to some chosen sector or firm.
I don’t subscribe to subsidies, but politicians love the pork.
In his first party conference speech as leader, Mr Cunliffe launched a fearsome assault on National for â€śtilt[ing] the playing field even furtherâ€ť towards its â€śmates.â€ť
â€ś[National]â€™s Hall of Shame,â€ť Mr Cunliffe boomed, â€śinvolves those shabby deals with Warner Brothers, Sky City, Rio Tinto and Chorus.â€ť
Quite accurately, Mr Cunliffe reported businesspeople telling him they wanted no part of it. â€śThey want a level playing field thatâ€™s fair and transparent, not one set of rules for Nationalâ€™s mates and another for everyone else,â€ť he said.
It was a superb issue for Labour because it unifies everyone from the anti-business far left to the New Zealand Initiative, the resurrected Business Roundtable.
Now Labour has gone and blown it.Â Read more »