An advanced Aviation Hub at Whanganui Airport is the latest beneficiary of taxpayer largesse through a donation from the Provincial Growth Fund.
The Taxpayers’ Union says the government is picking winners:
The Government should be delivering tax cuts to all businesses, not spending $48 million picking winners says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union, responding to the Government’s announcement of Provincial Growth Fund spending in the region.
The Union’s Executive Director Jordan Williams says “Government should not be in the business of picking winners. Instead of spending $48 million on an array of projects in Manawatu-Whanganui, the Government should give all businesses tax relief.”
“If the business case for projects receiving funding from the Government stands up, they should be able to secure private finance. Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidise businesses that cannot stand on their own two legs. Taxing more for Shane Jones to play Father Christmas is just a provincial merry-go-round.”
It’s worse than picking winners – it’s using taxpayers’ money to fund a business that is competing with another existing one.
An international flight school started operating at Oamaru airport a few months ago.
. . .Students from ”all over” would train in single-engine Tecnam aircraft, with one plane for every five students.
Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said he was ”very pleased” the airline academy chose the Waitaki district ”to kick-start their operation”.
”As there’ll be a significant number of trainees and staff living and learning here, this is a win-win for everyone.”
Ten jobs would be created and up to 50 commercial pilot trainees would be in the Waitaki district over the next three years.
Council chief executive Fergus Power said each trainee would add an estimated $20,000 to Oamaru’s economy while living in the district for up to a year. . .
If a flight school can be established at Oamaru Airport without subsidies the Whanganui one shouldn’t need government assistance and it certainly shouldn’t be getting taxpayers’ money to compete with an existing business.