Sunday, 9 September 2018

$2.4 million for just three jobs

NZ First’s pork barrel spending in Northland has plumbed new depths with the revelation the Provincial Growth Fund paid $2.4 million to create just three jobs, says ACT Leader David Seymour.


“In February, Shane Jones trumpeted the fact that a new Hundertwasser-themed tourism hub in Kawakawa would boost employment and economic development opportunities.


“But official advice says the project will only add three new jobs to the local economy. That’s $800,000 a job.


“Jones’ officials at MBIE threw cold water on the project, saying its revenues are overstated and that it will cannibalise other businesses in the area – hardly a ringing endorsement.


“To round out the saga, at the time Jones handed over the money, the Hundertwasser-themed hub didn’t even have the intellectual property to put the artist’s name to it.


“Jones’ advisors told him not to approve the funding – and rightly so – but he barged ahead anyway and signed the cheque.


“This is a shocker of a decision. No private individual or business would invest their own money in this project. And yet, hardworking taxpayers are being forced to do just that to ensure NZ First’s survival in the provinces.


“Shane Jones will continue to waste taxpayers’ money as he seeks to spend $2 million a day from the Provincial Growth Fund.


“The Fund is a continuation of the corporate welfare policies of the National Party. ACT is the only party standing on the side of taxpayers in opposing wasteful politicians and bureaucrats.


“No one spends money better than the person that earned it. That’s why ACT continues to fight for cuts to wasteful government spending and tax rates.”