Time to Cut Private Sector Benefits | The Jackal

7 May 2011

Time to Cut Private Sector Benefits

Right-wing reporter Narelle Suiste.

The Nation on TV3 today had Switzerland born and Africa raised reporter Narelle Suisted repeatedly saying that the unemployed choose not to work because of a lifestyle choice. What a load of rubbish! Show me one beneficiary that has turned down a good job that pays more than the dole Narelle? This echos the Prime Minister’s contentious statement that beneficiaries go to food banks because of their own poor choices;

"Anyone on a benefit actually has a lifestyle choice. If one budgets properly, one can pay one’s bills. And that is true because the bulk of New Zealanders on a benefit do actually pay for food, their rent and other things. Now some make poor choices and they don’t have money left." John Key said.

While the right wing continue to try and blame the victims for the economic crises they've created, they use this as an excuse to create further disparity in New Zealand through various cuts to social spending. All the while ignoring the real cause of our current situation. It's time the private sector started living within its means, that's where the real problem lies. Private sector debt far outweighs any public over-spending. In comparison to this excess, the welfare budget can be considered irrelevant. It is apparent that the right wing elitists cannot differentiate between private and public debt, using the "$300 Million borrowed each week" as a catch phrase to inflict more harm on an already besieged society.
Not only do these unconscionably delusional right-wingers try to use such falsehoods to cut social spending, thus creating further disparity in New Zealand; they use the same excuse to push for privatisation of our State Owned Assets, which is one of the main causes of our current failing economy. If you don't believe me, let's have a quick look at some of the facts surrounding a couple of those previous sell offs:
Merchant Banker Michael Fay.

In 1990 the Government restructured the rail balance sheet by writing off approximately $1.2 Billion of debt accumulated during the 1980’s. New Zealand Rail Limited also received a $1.6 billion injection of public money before being privatised by the Bolger National government in 1993, all of this was organised by Faye Richwhite & Company.

Michael Fay and David Richwhite, who were Governmental advisers on New Zealand Rail Limited from 1990 to 1993, then developed a conflict of interest along with others by undertaking a substantial shareholding in the company.

New Zealand Rail Limited was renamed Tranz Rail in 1995, when the company was listed. Faye Richwhite and crew had purchased the company for $328 million, of which they paid only $107 million. They went about stripping $220.9 million in 1993 and $100 million in 1995 of equity. After financial and commercial difficulties in the early 2000s, the Toll group from Australia bought Tranz Rail, who similarly failed to maintain the system. Toll group then sold it back to the Government in two transactions for a total of over $700 million dollars. There were also extensive ongoing costs to the Government of several hundred million dollars to repair the rail networks. The company was badly run down and required substantial re-investment of public money to an estimated NZ 4 Billion dollars.
Air New Zealand was privatised in 1989 to a consortium comprising of Brierley Investments, Qantas, Japan Airlines and American Airlines for NZ$660 million. But in the early 2000s it got in financial trouble and in 2001 the New Zealand Government took up 80% ownership in return for injecting NZ$885. There is a concensus that Air New Zealand was taken for a ride when it bought half of Ansett for A$680 million. Then Ansett collapsed and Air NZ undertook a programme of last-minute asset-stripping. In desperation Air New Zealand offered to sell the bankrupt Ansett to Qantas for $1. After two days' consideration Qantas declined.

Corporate Raider Ron Brierly

The following day Air New Zealand announced a staggering NZ$1,425 million loss: a NZ$1,321 million write-off of Ansett, and another NZ$104 million lost by Air New Zealand itself. Air New Zealand’s total market capitalisation has more than halved since 2007 from $2,776 million to $1,152 million in 2010.

We are seeing repeated excuses for public spending cuts and privatisation while National and their media lackeys continue with an outdated blame the victim mentality. The National Government believes that the public should pay for their mismanagement and a private sector borrowing that inflates foreign debt to around 132% of GDP. They believe that the poor and public should continue to pay for their elitist ideals that have been shown to cost far more than benefits ever could. The private sector needs to stop expecting hand outs and bailouts from the public purse. Privatisation does not mean better services or cheaper prices... Our privatised electric companies are the most expensive in comparison to those we have retained.

It would be good to see some journalistic integrity concerning these matters. The right wing elitists need to be held accountable and stopped from using such lame excuse as the debt they've created, as a reason for public spending cuts and privatisation. Somehow, I think my request will go unheeded.