The Regional Economic Development Minister has continued to stonewall over a $9.9 million loan to Westland Milk Products, according to ACT Leader David Seymour. 

The usually verbose Mr Jones clammed up in the House today as Mr Seymour asked that he reveal the details of the government loan. 

“Taxpayers have a right to know on what terms their money is being loaned to private companies. 

“What interest rate is the company being charged and over what period? If Westland Milk Products collapses, does the Government have any guarantee that taxpayers will be repaid?

“By saying that the terms of this deal should remain secret until the company’s chief financial officer sees fit to declare it treats taxpayers like muppets. 

“Mr Jones is suggesting that private companies receiving taxpayer loans have a stronger right to commercial sensitivity than taxpayers have a right to know how their money is being spent.

“The only defence of the loan Jones could muster was that the National Party spent billions in corporate welfare during its nine years. 

“That is certainly true, but it's a pathetic excuse for such a cavalier use of taxpayer money.”