Goff picks a porkie for last week centrepiece

Phil Goff and Labour have made a major tactical blunder in the last week of the campaign by attacking National with an obvious porkie that voters already know to be untrue, says National Party Associate Finance spokesman and Campaign Chair Steven Joyce.

“By ramping up its rhetoric on ‘asset sales’ with 80s phrases like, ‘once you’ve sold them, you’ll never get them back’, Labour is trying to scare voters into believing that National is adopting the tactics pioneered by Phil Goff and his Labour friends back in the 1980s.

“The reality is that the modern mixed ownership model is nothing like the ‘flog ’em all off’ approach that Labour took back then – and New Zealanders know it. Under the mixed ownership model, the Government holds at least 51 per cent of the four companies. It’s just like the Air New Zealand model that Labour ran for most of its time in government, and it brings a positive stable mix of public and private ownership.

“Kiwis know that Labour’s new-found opposition to mixed ownership is simply political desperation and hypocrisy. They should also understand that Labour appears to be in favour of joint ventures between SOEs and other companies, so their opposition to the mixed ownership model is just politicking.

“Finally, New Zealanders also know that Labour’s only alternative to mixed ownership is to borrow much more money. Under Labour’s grab-bag of ideas, New Zealand would owe at least $15.6 billion more over the next four years, and that’s before you add the Greens and every other party’s wish-lists.

“Nor can the public have any confidence in Labour’s rubber numbers, when the Labour Leader is unable to answer simple questions about implementation and application.

“With the current global economic uncertainty, it is crucial for us to get back in surplus quickly, and reduce our borrowing sooner rather than later. Kiwis know that means controlling expenditure, encouraging companies to grow, and building new infrastructure from the mixed ownership model, rather than more debt.

“On behalf of National, I have to say we are pleased that Labour is seeking to make this porkie a centrepiece in the final stages of their campaign. The public will notice that Labour is all about stopping things yet again, including some things that aren’t even happening. They have no plans of their own, except for New Zealand to owe our future,” says Mr Joyce.