National’s claim that asset sales will fund the City Rail Link is yet another false attempt to justify their SOE sell-off, as that money will be long gone by the 2020 start date, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.
“National has milked the asset sales funds to cover almost everything it does, depending on what its polls say. They seem to think the money can be spent time and time again like it grows on trees.
“Initially the asset sales were to pay down debt. Then they were to build schools and hospitals. The next big idea was to reduce borrowing. Another tale was to fund the Christchurch rebuild. Even more is to be spent on major irrigation projects to keep their farmer voters onside.
“The latest supposed change is to spend it on the City Rail Link, despite it not starting until 2020. By 2020 the asset sales funds will be long gone, and will probably be overspent by this Government’s promises.
“The $1.4 billion will come out of the Land Transport Fund or some other form of spending at that time, not the proceeds of asset sales.
“National has racked up over $2.1 billion in spending from asset sales officially, with another $1.4 billion to cover the City Rail Link.
“Yet National has raised just $1.7 billion from asset sales. So much for using it to repay debt.
“They are spending the asset sales cash before they’ve even sold the assets.
“After Labour forced National’s City Rail Link u-turn announcement this week, all John Key has left for today is trying to justify its unpopular asset sales, which the Treasury has shown increase the government deficit,” says David Parker.
28 June 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT