The so-called Future Investment Fund no longer has a future as National’s magic money printing machine after the Solid Energy contortions and over-promises of John Key and Bill English, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.
“It’s time for Bill English to take the first f-word out of future investment fund. This past 15 days the supposedly bottomless fund that spends the proceeds of asset sales has been permanently tarnished.
“Two weeks ago the Government took its ridiculous habit of over-promising the proceeds of asset sales a step too far by saying the Future Investment Fund would pay for the City Rail Link in 2020 even though the Fund is set to finish in 2017.
“Labour then revealed the total list of projects the Government has tied to the sale of assets adds up to tens of billions, despite the Government only raising $1.7 billion for the fund.
“All hell broke loose with Labour’s astonishing revelation that Cabinet had appropriated $100 million out of asset sales for the bail out of Solid Energy, following National’s inept mismanagement of the SOE.
“The whole artifice of spin that asset sales would fund only good works fell apart. Kiwis don’t want their assets sold. And they definitely don’t want SOEs sold to prop up SOEs that this Government ran into the ground.
“The contortions of John Key and Bill English lasted four days. John Key initially said Labour was making it up. At the same time Bill English said we were right. Days after a press conference so painful we could barely watch they finally settled on one line – it was all Treasury’s fault and no money would come out of asset sales, despite Cabinet saying it would.
“This train wreck has got them in serious trouble. Any loan to Solid Energy now has to come from borrowing from foreign bankers, something John Key pledged not to do and Bill English attempts to pin on the opposition.
“The Future Investment Fund’s credibility is shot,” says David Parker.
11July 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT