Compare and Contrast

Phil Goff likes to comment on dividends from SOEs.

Back in 2009 he said:

Labour leader Phil Goff said yesterday a future government wouldn’t demand excessive dividends from state-owned power companies, and Labour had been wrong not to deal with soaring prices while it held office.

So he says Labour was wrong to take dividends and said that Labour wouldn’t be taking them in the future so power prices could be lower. Compare that to his position today where:

Labour leader Phil Goff said the proposal was a “recipe for soaring power prices” and foreign ownership of the assets.

“Mum and dad investors might get the first bite, but they quickly gravitate to the big investors overseas. Everyone knows that.”

This morning on Morning Report on Red Radio he had this to say:

GEOFF ROBINSON:         So why are you agin [sic] it?

PHIL GOFF:  There’s a whole lot of reasons. Firstly, these are profitable enterprises. They return, you know, the power companies alone, for example, return something like $700 million a year to the government. Why would we want to hand that over when we know the – the certainty is that this will end up in the hands of foreign owners?

Morning Report, 27 Jan 2011

So poor old Phil has already reneged on his statement of 2009, because now he wants to keep the dividends flowing. But it is worse than that. His plan appears to be to rob Peter to pay Paul, rob Paul to pay Peter back again and do that four times over. He has now proposed to used those dividends 4 times over.

In it’s dying days the previous Government signalled its intention to spend the power company dividends at least twice over before they were booted out of office.

Cullen said the dividends would be needed to build new generation, then Parker said the dividends would be used to pay for an unfunded home insulation programme. Someone needs to remind Labour that you can’t spend the same money twice (or in this case three times, and now four times).

Oh – and why is Labour so opposed to the mixed ownership model – when both David Cunliffe and Trevor Mallard are on record as supporting sensible asset sales to deepen New Zealand’s capital markets for mum and dad investors?

It seems Labour really are taking advice from pixies.

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