The Opposition continues to carp about the partial floats of a very few state energy companies but they won’t commit to any of the alternatives which Associate Finance Minister Steven Joyce outlined:
Hon STEVEN JOYCE: There are three main alternatives. One would, of course, be to not invest in new schools, hospitals, or ultra-fast broadband. I doubt that anybody is suggesting that. Another option would be to borrow the billions of dollars from overseas lenders to invest in these new public assets. Some in this House appear to favour that borrowing option, including the Hon Annette King—
Mr SPEAKER: Order!
Hon STEVEN JOYCE: —and Grant Robertson. A third option is promising to buy back the minority shareholdings in these energy companies and borrowing billions of dollars from overseas banks to pay for them. But nobody in this House is proposing to do that, so I can assume only that the opponents of this share programme do not have the courage of their convictions, but I have to say—
The Minister had to withdraw and apologise for suggesting the opposition lacked the courage of their convictions but he was right.
They won’t commit to alternative, viable policy to the partial floats so their opposition is just empty rhetoric.