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.
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 »