The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union says the $23 million windfall return to internet billionaire Peter Thiel in a corporate welfare sweetheart deal with the Government-owned New Zealand Venture Investment Fund shows why the Government’s programmes of corporate welfare should be shut down as part of this year’s budget.
Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union, says:
“This is exactly what we have been accusing the Government of, and Steven Joyce has been denying, for many years. If corporate welfare deals go sour most of the costs land on taxpayers. This most recent example shows that even when ventures do well, most proceeds go to the private party. No wonder people label it ‘crony capitalism’.”
“Our most recent report on corporate welfare shows that the current Government is spending more than ever on these sorts of deals and subsidies. It was $1.36 billion in last year’s budget alone. If that money was used to lower company taxes, the 28% rate could be reduced to 22%. That would mean a boost to all Kiwi businesses, and not just those cherry-picked by the likes of NZVIF and Callaghan Innovation.”
“Politicians and bureaucrats in Wellington need to stop trying to outsmart people like Peter Thiel with our money. They’re on a hiding to nothing and this deal shows why.”
“Criticism of Mr Thiel for accepting corporate welfare misses the point – what businessman would turn down free money? The responsibility lies squarely with the National and Labour Parties which set up these corporate welfare schemes. Peter Beck, probably New Zealand’s largest corporate welfare recipient through his “Rocket Lab” venture, is even a nominee for the NZ Herald’s New Zealander of the Year. Rocket Lab is another taxpayer funded venture competing with Silicon Valley billionaires.”
Jim Rose’s report for the Taxpayers' Union on corporate welfare, Welfare Bums: Adding Up the Cost of Corporate Welfare in the 2016 Budget is available at http://www.taxpayers.org.nz/welfare_bums
| An NZTaxpayers' Union release | February 8, 2017 ||