INDEPENDENT NEWS

The Rail Deal's A Scandal: Peters

Published: Tue 2 Oct 2001 11:35 AM
“Overseas investors, and some of our expatriate ones are enjoying another joke at the expense of the New Zealand taxpayer over the purchase of the Auckland rail corridors,” according to New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters.
“Those same rail corridors and all corridors in New Zealand were sold in 1993 for $1 a year. Now they are having the taxpayer buy-back some of them for $81 million. Some people must be laughing all the way to the Swiss bank. Worse still is the fact that the Government are telling the public that this is a bargain.
“Hard on the heels of the Air New Zealand fiasco we have an announcement that the taxpayer is buying back another of our former state assets. Having sold New Zealand Rail for $328m successive governments have sat back and watched our railways bled dry.
“This deal that sees the New Zealand taxpayer again providing a windfall profit for these overseas tycoons, is a scandal. Taxpayers are being ripped off by a Government that is once again providing profits for the rich, and taxes for the poor.
“Government spending on failed privatised assets ought to have been invested in the Superannuation Fund to increase national savings and to secure our future. How many more times will a Labour Minister ‘save rail’? How much more will New Zealanders have to pay for the failed policies of National and Labour?,” concluded Mr Peters.
ENDS

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