Here we go again. The corporates want more money from the government for the America’s cup.
I’ve said before that the only thing you can be sure of with the corporate sector is that it always has its hand out for government money – and National has been most willing to oblige. It’s an integral part of their DNA so after the failure of the last challenge the government pumped $5 million in to “secure the team” (prevent our sailors being poached by more lucrative offers from overseas) and now National ministers are lined up to give more .
It’s not a popular move so Minister of Economic Development (and star of “The Hollow Men”) Steven Joyce says the government could give another $2 – $2.5 million but wants private sector sponsors to join in first to give it some political cover.
Forget about the 300,000 children living in poverty; forget about the 80,000 kids who go to school hungry every day; forget about the families living in cars and cockroach-infested caravans – the needs of corporate beneficiaries such as Team New Zealand come first. They’ve used up the $5million the government gave them after they lost the cup last time and now they say if they don’t get another cash injection from the state they will go to the wall by the end of this month.
The government should deliver a flat no. If that means Team New Zealand folds up none of us will lose any sleep.
As any welfare beneficiary or low-paid worker will tell you the government is cruel and hard-hearted when families struggle to make ends meet. Those families have far greater needs than a team based on artificially-created, faux nationalism branded as Team New Zealand.
An evaluation of the economic benefits of the 2013 America’s Cup to New Zealand found that from a $36m investment, the domestic economy received an $87m boost. That economic benefit to corporate New Zealand is where Dalton should be looking for handouts – less than 10% of that benefit should be enough to keep afloat and a whole lot more besides.
So shove off Team New Zealand. Take your begging bowl around your corporate mates rather than low and middle income taxpayers who pay much higher percentages of income tax and GST compared to your featherbedded corporate mates.