“Shane Jones’ corporate welfare gravy train has continued its travels south to Taranaki today”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“The Provincial Growth Fund is a continuation of the crony capitalism of former Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges. Although it has a new name, the logic is identical: handouts for votes.
“Aside from securing support for NZ First in the provinces, there is no justification for this fund.
“More economic activity in Taranaki will just mean less economic activity elsewhere in New Zealand. No new wealth is being created. In fact, wealth is being destroyed through higher taxes.
“Tourism operators around the country are being taxed to fund $400,000 to determine the value of a state highway to the Taranaki tourism sector.
“Restaurants are being taxed to fund $175,000 to identify ‘food-related opportunities’.
“This is crony capitalism on a massive scale. If you want to make it in Shane Jones’ economy, it’s about who you know, not what you know.
“Economic ventures should stand and fall on their own merits, without having to rely on government”, says Mr Seymour.