Can the Government Guarantee Domestic Power Prices if the Power Companies Are Sold?

The government says domestic power prices will not rise steeply if shares are sold in the three publicly owned power companies, but can they guarantee it? And what if they are wrong? This has the Alliance Party worried, according to co leader Kay Murray.

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Advice to Mum and Dad Investors

I was impressed and excited to read a local finance broker’s advice to potential “mum and dad” investors in privatized public assets in the Otago Daily Times (Friday 6 July 2012).
Mr Chris Timms of Craigs Investment Partners says any complaints about ordinary Kiwis not being able to get in on the sale of the 21st century are misplaced.
It comes down to lifestyle choices and priorities.
Cut out the cigarettes and takeaways, and you can be in to win.
As Mr Timms says, you can save money, be healthier and buy some shares.
I agree.
It is a well known fact that the working classes of New Zealand expend their lives in a haze of cigarette smoke, while simultaneously pouring jugs of beer down their throats and stuffing their ample jaws with burgers and chips.
It’s amazing they actually find time to work full time and raise families.
In some cases, they linger on well into their seventies on superannuation (another drain on the economy.)
We need to buy back the assets we already own because we needed to give tax cuts to high income people, like finance industry high flyers for example. Continue reading

Alliance Party Warns Investors that Asset Sales Can Be Reversed

For the Alliance Party the Mixed Ownership Bill is a case of ground-hog day. The Alliance was formed to fight the privatization agenda of the 1980’s and 1990’s. “We find it profoundly depressing that this government is determined to repeat the failures of the past,” said Co Leader Kay Murray. Continue reading

Alliance joins condemnation of NZ Ambassador to US Moore’s party for multinational corporates

The Alliance Party wants to know why the government allowed our US Ambassador, Mike Moore, to host a Trans Pacific Partnership Governors and Ambassadors World Trade Reception on Friday night sponsored and attended by multinational corporate players. Continue reading

Strange jobs disconnection between Welfare Working Group and KiwiRail

The Alliance Party has highlighted how the person seeking to solve unemployment on behalf of the Government, is also on the Board of Directors of KiwiRail, whose recent decisions have led to the loss of skilled jobs.
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National Government must be held accountable for $500 million rail debacle

The Alliance Party says KiwiRail CEO Jim Quinn and the silent Minister of Transport Steven Joyce may not think New Zealand can handle such a large engineering contract as the building of Auckland’s new electric trains – but New Zealand workers are absolutely certain that they can do the job.

Alliance Party co-leader Kay Murray says a rally of rail engineering workers in Dunedin this week showed that the skills, motivation and community support were there.

All that is lacking is corporate leadership and political leadership from a National Government.

National has failed the tens of thousands of workers who have lost jobs since John Key came to office, and are now effectively forcing hundreds of millions of dollars of rail engineering contracts out of the country.

The Alliance is urging New Zealanders to support the Rail and Maritime Transport Union campaign to build rolling stock in New Zealand which has attracted widespread support in the community (http://www.rmtunion.org.nz/articles/article-building-rolling-stock-in-nz.php)

“It is not acceptable to send $500 million of taxpayers money out of the country when jobs are needed and communities are struggling. It is not acceptable to deny New Zealanders work and all the flow on effects keeping Kiwis in work would bring.”

Over 1700 workers recently applied for 170 jobs at a new Bunnings store in Dunedin, indicating the seriousness of the unemployment crisis affecting many regions of New Zealand – a crisis that the Government will not even acknowledge.

Ms Murray says the $500 million contract has turned into a debacle with local workers denied the opportunity to use their skills.

Phase Two “Expressions of Interest” closes at the end of this week, but KiwiRail’s own workshops Hillside and Hutt Valley are forbidden to participate.

The people of New Zealand own KiwiRail and we must insist that our public rail system must not give public money to overseas corporations when we can do the job ourselves.

The Alliance says the chickens are coming home to roost as successive Government’s have gambled and lost on free trade dogma that has undermined our industry.

Alliance campaigns against water privatization plan

The Alliance is campaigning to keep water rights in public ownership through local councils.

Alliance Economic Development Spokesperson Quentin Findlay says a proposed local government bill of ACT MP Rodney Hide due to be introduced to Parliament in February 2010 could privatize water.

Mr Findlay says that the bill aims to have public-private partnerships in charge of administering and supplying water.

“This means the public would bear the costs while the private sector would reap the benefits, through management and supply of water.”

“Mr Hide’s proposed bill is simply water privatization, no matter what ‘spin’ he or the National Party tries to put on it. It involves taking water provision out of the hands of councils and community control and placing it into the hands of unelected contractors.”

Mr Findlay says this approach in other countries meant water supply and provision had suffered with a small number of private firms monopolising the process and ordinary people facing increased costs and poor services.

In the UK, public-private partnerships in water had led to increased costs and allegations of corruption. In Bolivia, privatization of water had actually led to a popular revolt.

“The entire push towards public-private provision has little to do with efficiency and more to do with Mr Hide and ACT serving the wishes of their corporate allies. This is a programme that has failed in every country in which it has been tried.”

Mr Findlay said that the Alliance would be looking at operating an online petition and coordinating with other groups to campaign for public control of water.

He says the Alliance when returned to Parliament would immediately lobby for the public ownership and community control of the country’s water supply and provision.

Government paralysis in transport failing New Zealand


The Alliance Party says New Zealand’s transport infrastructure should not be allowed to fall victim to the National Government’s lack of foresight and lack of leadership.

Alliance Party transport spokesperson Trevor Hanson says at least two New Zealand regions have had their transport infrastructure put under threat as a result of dominant market players making unilateral decisions – decisions that have serious affected regional industry.

He says it appears the regions are being left high and dry by the Government. Continue reading

Alliance mortgage plan turns financial crisis into asset

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Alliance Party finance spokesperson Professor Jim Flynn says the government has to think outside the square to prevent ordinary New Zealanders losing their houses during the economic crisis because they can’t afford their mortgage payments.

In the wake of the news that in August this year at least 50 families were forced into mortgagee sales of the family home, Professor Flynn says there is a simple solution.

“Rather than have people face mortgage sales, the government should buy the houses off the banks for their rateable value. The bank would be relieved of a ‘toxic’ asset and the government would get something in return for helping the bank.”

The home could then be rented back to the occupiers at perhaps 20% of their income. This would mean people could afford stay in the family home. They are spared the upheaval of trying to find alternative accommodation, which could mean overcrowding, children having to move schools and a loss of social support systems. Continue reading