“A NZ First-linked company applying for taxpayer money from a NZ First-run fund is the perfect example of the cronyism that inevitably accompanies corporate welfare”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“The only solution to the problem of government and business getting into bed together is to end corporate welfare completely.
“ACT has always opposed handouts for business. One, it’s wasteful because politicians don’t have the information or incentives to invest as well as people on the ground. Two, business becomes more about cosying up to politicians than it does about being productive or innovative. Three, it is an invitation to corruption.
“National will complain about this case, but what is it going to do? Steven Joyce and Simon Bridges’ addiction to handouts for business is part of the reason we are in this situation. For example, National bailed out Tiwai Point and Mediaworks.
“National must categorically rule out using the public purse in future to help firms that should be standing on their own two feet.
“This is not the first time an attempt has been made to use the Provincial Growth Fund inappropriately. In March, ACT and Stuff exposed the fact that Shane Jones helped get more than $4 million for an organisation he once chaired.
“If Shane Jones could invest $3 billion in taxpayer money better than those in the private sector, he wouldn’t have spent his entire career in government. He would be doing something far more profitable.
“No one spends money as carefully as the person who earned it. Voters need to ask: Do I want to keep more of what I earn, or do I want to give it to politicians to buy votes? ACT proposes to end corporate welfare and return the money to taxpayers in the form of tax cuts.”