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May 28, 2012 | by  | in Opinion |
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Partisan Hacks

Salient asked, “Do you support a referendum on state asset sales, and if so, why?” The Hacks respond… 

NZ First – Curwen Rolinson

NZ First has always been strongly in favour of using binding referenda to decide a range of issues. We proved our commitment to direct democracy when we put our National Savings plan up to a popular vote in 1997. We have never been comfortable with the idea that democracy on one day every three years necessitates an absolute mandate for the Government of the day to do as it pleases in the face of the will of the people. National does not have a mandate to sell state assets, and we intend to prove it to them.

Vic Labour – Reed Fleming

Yes. These assets return hundreds of millions of dollars annually, and National says we have to sell them because we have to reduce the country’s debt. It’s like saying you should sell your house (or half of it) to pay the mortgage. The vast majority of Kiwis oppose asset sales, but National does not believe they have the right to a referendum on the issue. Labour believes that the people’s voice must be heard.

Greens @ Vic – Harriet Farquar

New Zealanders must have a chance to have their say on a plan which in the long-run, will result in more government debt, not less. It simply does not make sense to sell off assets with an average return of 18.5% per annum, to avoid borrowing costs of around 4%. We need to build a high- skill economy, not one based on sales of highly profitable companies, which currently we all have a share in.

Vic Nats – Christian hermansen

No. The Vic Nats believe that the voters of NZ had their referendum on November 26 2011 when they returned a National led government to power. National campaigned on a Mixed Ownership Model of certain state assets, prior to the election and went on to win convincingly in 2011, giving them a mandate to become the government and carry out their policy agenda.

ACT On Campus

Unfortunately, ACT On Campus did not respond to Salient’s quite reasonable query this week. Shame, that.

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Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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