National admits asset sales failure could wipe out surplus

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Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: National admits asset sales failure could wipe out surplus



Bill English has been forced to admit that National’s failed asset sales have bought in less money than expected and cost the taxpayer a fortune

National has finally admitted that its failed asset sales programme is bringing in $1.2 billion less than expected, which puts the Government’s commitment to returning to surplus in 2014/15 at risk, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

Figures released by the Green Party last week show that, because the asset sales have bought in less revenue than expected and cost more, the Government cumulative deficit will be half a billion dollars worse by 2017 than was projected in Budget 2013, including a $109 million hit in 2014/15. New figures released by the Government confirm that asset sales will only raise $4.8 billion, if the sale of Genesis goes ahead, not the $6 billion expected in Budget 2013, leaving a massive hole in the Government’s books.

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“Bill English has been forced to admit that National’s failed asset sales have bought in less money than expected and cost the taxpayer a fortune,” said Dr Norman.

“The failure of the asset sales programme to raise as much money as expected means that the Government will have to borrow more and pay more interest on its debt, which puts its promised return to surplus in 2014/15 at risk.

“The Green Party’s calculations show that the failed asset sales so far will worsen the Government’s operating balance in 2014/15 by $109 million, enough to wipe out the surplus of just $75 million for 2014/15 that was projected in Budget 2013. If the sale of Genesis goes ahead, the hole in the Government’s books will be even larger.

“Just last week, John Key was trying to mislead the public by saying that the hole in the Budget caused by asset sales was a Green Party fiction. When he made that claim, Treasury had already provided him with updated figures proving that asset sales were carving a half a billion hole in the Crown accounts. Mr Key should have been upfront with New Zealanders and admitted the failure of his asset sales agenda.

“Nearly a million New Zealanders have already voted in the asset sales referendum. The referendum is our best our chance to send a message to National to stop these failed asset sales and stop wasting our money,” said Dr Norman.

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