John Key's 'loyalty scheme' for New Zealanders who buy shares in state assets simply means those that can't afford shares will be forced to subsidise those who can, says Labour's State Owned Enterprises spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.
"This is a ponzi scheme that punishes taxpayers in more ways than one.
"The proposal to give New Zealanders who invest in companies like Mighty River Power a loyalty bonus for hanging onto their shares shifts the burden of National's bad idea on to taxpayers who can't afford to buy in," Clayton Cosgrove said.
"Why should those who don't plan to buy shares, for whatever reason, have their taxpayer dollars spent subsidising those who can?
"This is a tactic to placate Kiwis concerns about giving up our assets to foreign interests, which under this government's stewardship is inevitable.
"If I was Joe Public listening to John Key's speech today, I'd be raising my eyebrows. We are told again and again that these are tight fiscal times, but are expected to fund a political sweetener to take the heat off the National Government.
"New Zealanders already own these assets. If Kiwi 'mums and dads' have a couple of thousand dollars the best advice would surely be to pay down the credit card.
"Taxpayers are already taking a hit in lost dividends, this is a second blow.
"The Government says it is serious about paying down debt. But basic arithmetic will tell you that we can gain more from the revenue generated from these well-performing assets than the cost of borrowing.
"You can't sweeten a sour deal. John Key can't sell his ideas using rhetoric about access for all New Zealanders. The fact is we all already own these assets. Giving them up now won't just be our loss, but a loss felt by generations to come," Clayton Cosgrove said.
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