13 Reasons for Voting No!
From Friday the 22nd of November voting papers for the citizens initiated referendum on state asset sales will be arriving in letter boxes. It is important that everyone eligible to vote does so, and votes NO, for the following reasons:
1) It is a civic responsibility to engage in any democratic process to ensure that they continue to be used. CIRs are a useful way of establishing the public feeling on a single important issue whether they are binding or not.
2) Governments need to be able to be held to account between elections, no Government has a mandate to ignore the people who they are supposed to represent after they are elected.
3) It is important that the current Government is in no doubt about the public feeling around selling our state assets. All independent polls have shown around 70% opposition and this referendum is necessary to confirm that.
4) The whole idea of selling almost half of our power companies was flawed from the beginning as the dividends gained through retaining full ownership would bring in more revenue over time.
5) Losing partial ownership of our Power Companies would shift the focus even more towards ensuring shareholder dividends are strong and this would mean little incentive to drop power prices for ordinary consumers.
6) Many shareholders will be off shore, which would mean there will be another stream of money leaving our country that won't necessarily be spent in our local economy.
7) The fact that ownership of our power companies is not solely with the Government will make it more difficult for the Government to intervene if power charges increase unnecessarily.
8) Private control of our energy supply is not a good idea. The French have maintained state control over their power company and it is now a dominant player globally.
9) This Government has become increasingly arrogant and has been forcing through legislation that has not been well supported by research and evidence and abusing its slim majority to do so. A strong NO vote will remind the National Party that New Zealand is more than their small group of privileged mates.
10) We need to stop the flow of wealth to a privileged few. All of New Zealand did own these assets and growing inequities caused by tax cuts to the rich and keeping wages low has meant that ownership of important state assets is only going to those who can afford to buy shares. The mum and dad investor promotion was dishonest when around 25% of New Zealanders survive on less than the living wage. Only 2% of New Zealanders have bought any of the shares so far.
11) The Government needs to also stop selling the assets in a share market that is currently saturated with new shares, not only will this depress the potential revenue from the sales but it will mean more shares will go off shore. Treasury has also warned the Government about this and yet they still went ahead with the Meridian sales.
12) The Government has spent well over their budget in progressing the sales and has now spent $250 million.
13) We don't need to sell the assets to get enough money to invest in our schools and hospitals, shifting some of the $12 billion being spent on unnecessary motorways would do the trick.
I challenge anyone to come up with as many strong reasons for not voting no and would welcome any additions to my list.