It's corporate welfare for the rich, capitalism for everyone else.
The latest 'Make Richie Rich Even Richer' ploy from government is its Meridian share offer. Forty nine percent of the shares will be sold to the predominantly wealthy clientele who, lucky for then, will only have to pay for 60 percent of the shares up front and the other 40 percent in eighteen months time.
The Green Party say that this interest fee loan will cost everyone else a whacking $40 million. We have no reason to doubt this especially since the Minister of Finance Bill English says he doesn't know what the cost is - in other words, he doesn't want to tell us.
As Green co-leader Russell Norman has said: “While a small percentage will benefit from Mr Key’s $40 million interest-free loan, the rest of New Zealand will have to foot the bill. Kiwis will pay for Mr Key’s loan through higher public borrowing, they’ll lose half the dividend stream from Meridian to the Crown, and they’ll face higher power prices.'
So we're all being forced to subsidise wealthy Meridian shareholders just as we propped up Rio Tinto with a $30 million bribe (and a sweetheart power deal) to keep the old and creaking aluminium smelter open for another eighteen months - after that, all bets are off.
And let's not forgot the $40 million John Key and his cronies loaned to the debt-ridden Mediaworks so it could to renew its radio frequency licences. And what about the money Peter Jackson and Warner Bros received for filming The Hobbit in New Zealand. And lets not forget the change in labour laws to prevent workers on The Hobbit from joining the union.
Then there's McDonald's .The fast food multinational received a $270,000 wage subsidy between 2009 and 2013. This subsidy was only for the stores directly owned by McDonald's and as 80 percent of the stores are franchised the level of subsidy could run into the millions.
In effect WINZ are helping the company pay minimum wages - because it refuses to pay any more - and engage in practices like refusing to guarantee work hours. So in effect, taxpayer money is being used to support corporate margins.
But if you are on the other side of the tracks then all you can count on are low wages, declining working conditions and, if you a welfare beneficiary, getting harassed by Work and Income at a time when there are a declining number of full time jobs.
This is the scandal that so few in the media will talk about.. While low-paid, the unemployed and disabled people are having their state support shredded – because we all have to tighten our belts apparently - the wealthy are pocketing vast amounts of taxpayer cash.
The right wing corporate media noise machine only wants to cut welfare for the working class and the poor. Welfare for the rich and the corporations is just peachy.
Its corporate welfare for the rich, capitalism for everyone else.