Shearer less uncertain on buy back of assets

Winston Peters says he would push a coalition to buy back asset shares – see Winston would buy back shares – with private KiwiSaver funds?

David Shearer has been very vague about what Labour would do, saying they would wait until after the election to decided – Shear Shearer hypocrisy on asset mandate.

Shearer has said a bit more about this in an interview at ‘The Farming Show’:

Would you do a Winston and buy them back, compulsorily buy them back if you took office?

I can’t see we would be in a position to be able to do that, I mean, so I can’t put my hand on my heart and say to people that we would buy them back, ah, that wouldn’t be right.

Ah, look, the bottom line is when you sell these assets and the proceeds come in, and you spend them as the Government says it’s going to spend them on schools and hospitals, I don’t see how we can afford to buy them back when we came into office.

I’m not going to rule it out, but certainly I think it’s very unlikely.

That is less vague than before but far from certain.

And I’m very puzzled about Shearer’s thinking here, if he thinks.

If National didn’t sell any asset shares they would have to borrow more money.

If they sell the shares and borrow less, a Labour led Government could borrow more – what National would have had to borrow if they did as Labour want them to do now.

This could mean:

  • Shearer is using “I don’t see how we can afford to buy them back” as an excuse for not buying them back
  • Shearer wants to buy them back but doesn’t want to say that now
  • Shearer doesn’t understand much about this.

Or maybe Shearer isa banking on Russel Norman to start the printing presses and solve all of those little problems – How they plan to pay for their promises?

This extract of the interview is at Whale Oil – Shearer’s position on Winston’s position on asset sales

Winston would buy back shares – with private KiwiSaver funds?

Richard29 at Kiwiblog pointed out something alarming about Winston Peters’ proposal to buy back asset shares.

“Borrowing money would make economic sense because the returns would make that totally feasible”

This is a fair enough approach – it is a direct reversal of the government’s transaction of selling the assets and paying down debt. And the historical dividend returns on the assets are higher than the government’s costs of borrowing so there will be no great win or loss either way.

But this is freaking scary:
“but there are other resources,” he said. “You’ve got the superannuation fund, KiwiSaver or a number of avenues or options you could exercise.”

The money in MY Kiwisaver account is MY money not Winston’s slush fund! If he wants the government to buy something they should borrow or raise the funds not steal them from savers!

Ignorance? Or dishonest claim?

(I disagree that a buy back would be a fair enough approach after shares were bought in good faith, many for long term investments).

The full related part of the Herald article:

Mr Peters said he would be happy for a Government of which he was a part to borrow or to use the superannuation fund to buy back shares at no more than cost.

Mr Peters said his NZ First party was renowned for going into negotiations “knowing what we want and getting what we want”.

“Borrowing money would make economic sense because the returns would make that totally feasible, but there are other resources,” he said.

“You’ve got the superannuation fund, KiwiSaver or a number of avenues or options you could exercise.”

Did Peters make a mistake, say this through ignorance, or he just doesn’t care what he says to try and get some media coverage and votes?

Last week Peter Dunne called Peters “the Hugo Chavez of New Zealand politics” after similar but less preposterous statements from Peters, and said:

I think this is no more than hot, populist air from Winston – by buy back he means re-nationalise, which no government would ever agree to.

Is this ignorant blatant political grandstanding from Peters? Or is it dishonest blatant political grandstanding?

Shear Shearer hypocrisy on asset mandate

David Shearer shows incredible hypocrisy questioning National’s mandate on assets sales but he doesn’t want Labour’s position on buying back shares with Winston Peters to be judged in the next election. He says Labour won’t make a commitment until  after the election.

Shearer won’t rule out buy back

Mr Peters said it would make sense to borrow to buy back shares, and commentators who said it did not make sense were “unreconstructed economic morons”.

He  his NZ First party was renowned for going into negotiations “knowing what we want and getting what we want”.

“Borrowing money would make economic sense because the returns would make that totally feasible, but there are other resources,” he said.

“You’ve got the superannuation fund, KiwiSaver or a number of avenues or options you could exercise.”

Mr Shearer said, “We won’t rule it out but we won’t rule it in either.” Labour would not be able to make any commitment on it before an election.

We know all about trusting Winston, but can we trust Shearer?

This is remarkable non-stance and incredibly hypocritical – any post election decision would have zero mandate.

Would Shearer commit to waiting for the result of any referendum before buying back shares?