Idiot/Savant yesterday called the government out on their answer to SCF.
Today in Question Time, Finance Minister Bill English refused to hold a public inquiry into the collapse of South Canterbury Finance. His excuse? The government didn’t have the resources to do it.
This is just bullshit.
Oh, it’s bullshit all right.
3. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE (Labour—New Lynn) to the Minister of Finance: Will he agree to a full public and independent commission of inquiry into the collapse of South Canterbury Finance?
Hon BILL ENGLISH (Minister of Finance) : No. We do not see anything to be gained by such an inquiry at this time. In the first place, the Government needs to focus what is actually a very small resource of people and expertise on getting value for the taxpayer, who has paid out $1.6 billion, and now we need to recover somewhere between $1 billion and $1.2 billion, which is a high priority for us. Secondly, should any issues arise around fault, or cause, or responsibility for what has gone on with South Canterbury Finance, there are any number of regulatory agencies that could investigate those questions. Finally, the Government will be shortly releasing proactively all the relevant papers that can be released, subject to commercial confidentiality, which will allow the member to scrutinise in detail all judgments and processes followed by the Government.
So the actual answer was: No, because it’s a waste of the time of our financial experts (who are busy making sure that more money isn’t lost) to repeat what’s probably going to be done anyway.
Quite reasonable, since the SFO and other regulators have already been investigating Hubbard for weeks now.
But to continue…
To point out the obvious, it just spent $1.7 billion on bailing out South Island gamblers and giving wealthy sharks a guaranteed return.
I’ll just point out that there are several errors here. The money was not “spent”, once all it settled it will be a fraction of that amount, it was not a bailout, they were not exclusivly South Islanders, neither were they gamblers (given Hubbard’s reputation, quite the opposite) or “wealthy sharks” (sooo many things wrong with that last one).
Just about the only thing correct in that sentence was the “guaranteed return”. That is a problem, but it’s a problem in the design of the scheme when it was put in place.
Now, at least I/S’ origional statement was partially correct – the government doesn’t have the resources. But by implying (“If it can afford that“) that the issue is money, he then turns a half truth into a whole lie. Bill’s answer was that is not about money, it’s about the fact we have very few people qualified to delve into the finances of SCF, and those people are already doing so.
And we can’t get more by spending money either: these people spend years gaining the expertise necessary, you can’t simply walk into the warehouse and whip out the credit card.
Now, there is a legitimate question in my mind as to whether we need such experts to conduct an inquiry. Possibly not, but I/S ignored that angle.
Idiot concludes that the real reason is because government has something to hide.
I say Garbage in, Garbage Out. Try reporting on the answer next time.