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The confirmation of a bonus scheme for asset sales is a cynical measure to attempt to get public support for the Government's deeply unpopular assets sales programme, said the Green Party today.
"The Government's fiscally reckless plan to sell off these productive state owned assets will be made even worse by this cynical move to offer potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses to wealthy NZ buyers, said Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman.
"This is deeply cynical ploy to win the public over to the Government's unpopular privatisation agenda, but it wont work the New Zealand public will see through it.
"There is still no detail on how much the loyalty scheme will cost, and it appears that the Government has not budgeted for the scheme. We know from overseas examples such as Queensland that it can cost tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. We also know from the Queensland example that loyalty schemes don't work, when the price of shares went up the shares got on sold.
"The Government will also be spending at least $120 million on selling the assets which is a further waste of money to effect this transfer of wealth from everyone to those at the top. It also undermines the Government's already shoddy business case for selling assets that earn an over 10% return to pay down debt that costs around 4%.
"They also look likely to list the shares on the Australian stock exchange which will further guarantee that the shares end up in foreign ownership.
"The best way to ensure that ownership stays in New Zealand is to not sell the assets. Its as simple as that. Most New Zealanders wont be able to afford to buy shares and there is no guarantee that those who can wont sell them down the line.
The Government needs to put an end to their asset sales programme. The public don't want it, the economics of it don't stack up, the price is currently devalued, and rights in water that are crucial to the operation of the companies is unclear. How many more reasons does this Government need? They have said they will not progress if the conditions are bad enough, well they are pretty bad right now, added Dr Norman.