Reckless threats by Labour and the Greens to nationalise the electricity industry have already wiped hundreds of millions of dollars off New Zealanders’ hard-earned savings, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says.
"The more than 2 million New Zealanders in KiwiSaver will have watched with great concern yesterday as the value of their retirement nest-eggs fell sharply within hours of the opposition parties announcing their half-baked nationalisation plan," Mr Joyce says.
"The sharemarket value of Contact Energy, Trust Power and Infratil shares alone fell by more than $300 million yesterday afternoon.That value was taken out of the pockets of hard-working KiwiSavers, the New Zealand Super Fund and small shareholders across New Zealand.
"If Labour and the Greens could do that in just a few hours, imagine what they would do if ever they got near being in government.
"Labour and the Greens don't understand that this sort of random policy-making has a much broader effect on savings, investment and jobs. Why would you invest in New Zealand in this modern day of mobile capital if a government can turn up on a whim tomorrow and nationalise your industry?"
"This government is absolutely focussed on encouraging savings and investment in New Zealand to build more jobs for Kiwis. These guys have completely lost the plot if they think what they announced yesterday wouldn't have a completely chilling effect on investment in New Zealand."
Mr Joyce says Labour and the Greens are simply wrong to claim their Soviet-style 1970s policies would reduce electricity prices and they only need to look back into their own history to find out why.
"Labour and the Greens themselves rejected this policy in 2006 while in Government on the grounds it would increase costs. Those cost increases could only be passed on to consumers," Mr Joyce says.
"Even if they could achieve the cost reductions they claim, which they wouldn't, they would be more than eaten up with their plans to run a much more aggressive ETS. Anybody who thinks that a Labour-Greens government could mean lower energy prices needs to go and have a quick look at all their other policies and apply the "Yeah Right" test.
"Their power price savings estimates are totally made up. What we do know is that having politicians running the electricity market will lead to a shortage of investment, a mismatch of supply and power blackouts. It makes as much sense as politicians running the food market.
"Labour and the Greens are economically naive and untrustworthy if they believe any of this would be good for New Zealanders. It is bumper sticker politics at its most destructive."
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