Asset sales fund runs out: Nats forced to borrow

Bill English has been forced to admit the asset sales fund has run dry and the Government will have to borrow to build the schools and hospitals they promised would come from the sales proceeds, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.

“Bill English has admitted he has overspent the asset sales Future Investment Fund. There is only $534 million left in the kitty but National has promised a further $680 million from the fund will be spent on schools and hospitals.

“Today Bill English admitted the shortfall would have to be met by borrowing or selling even more assets. That’s an astonishing admission when the entire point of selling the assets, according to National spin, was so it would have to borrow less from foreign bankers.

“It is even more remarkable when the money that could have been spent on schools and hospitals, was blown on pet projects like fixing the roof of the Beehive and a subscription to the World Bank.

“That is a complete failure of financial management from National.

“National promised they would sell assets so they wouldn’t have to borrow. Now they are breaking that promise and borrowing to cover their backsides,” Grant Robertson says.