May 6, 2008

Is The Toll Purchase Actually A Huge Stuff Up?

Fran O'Sullivan suggests it might be in today's NZ Herald

Finance Minister Michael Cullen has now spent the thick end of a billion dollars of taxpayers' cash to renationalise a flagging railway system he could have picked up for a song much earlier if he had played a more aggressive hand.

Is this the end of nationalisation of key infrastructure? Fran Says we should not count on it

The big question is whether this is the end of Dr Cullen's buying spree.

I wouldn't bet on it.

Labour has its own broadband infrastructure projects in mind. There's also the potential to mop up Contact Energy again and have all major power generators in state ownership.
But taxpayers will hope yesterday's acquisition is the final move in the Labour Government's disastrous history of paying over the odds to acquire assets back from owners that can't make enough to expand the network themselves to optimal capacity.