Invest in early years - Letters, 8/11/2011

By Readers write

The Bay of Plenty Times welcomes letters and comments from readers. Here you can read the letters we have published in your newspaper today.

Partial sale of assets better than more debt

Over the past three years more than 50 financial companies failed and somewhere between $5 billion and $6 billion of investors' money was lost with many investors being our older citizens who are unable to make up these losses.

It is therefore my view that the selling off of a minority shareholding in some large state-owned assets makes sense and provides a safe future means for people to invest in assets that will still be majority-owned by the Government meaning that overseas interests will not be able to take control of any asset being sold.

I accept that there may be a potential loss of revenue, but this will be more than made up from the savings on the reduced borrowings required and also the fact that from the 49 per cent sold, the Government will still receive the tax paid on the dividends.

Many state-owned assets currently require significant capital investment and this can presently only be achieved from either additional borrowings or from the taxpayer, whereas shareholders would also be able to invest in the event of a partial privatisation.

It's either partial sales or increased borrowings and risks and the choice is ours in November.

Mike Baker, Bethlehem

Asset sales info

We have heard so much about the asset sales of the Government and whether it is good or bad it would be interesting to know.

What would the value be to the Government if they sold 49 per cent of the assets?

What is our current return on the assets now?

What is the projected return on the assets that are left?

What is the interest rate on the money we have to borrow? In other words is it more economical to sell the assets now and in say 5-10 years start to buy the assets back once the books are in surplus as the shares being sold would be on the open market as time goes by?

If we are paying six per cent on our borrowed funds and only getting a return of three per cent then is it not more economical to sell the assets instead of borrowing money.

I am concerned that the more we borrow then the more we pay in interest, and really, does any Government actually repay those borrowings or are the loans just rolled over year upon year, upon year.

It would be nice if someone could spend time and tell the public just what the benefits/non benefits are in selling or keeping our assets.

Ross Darrall, Papamoa Beach

History of airline

Bay of Plenty Airways was a pioneering regional airline servicing Tauranga, Whakatane, Opotiki, Rotorua, Auckland and Wellington in the late-1950s and early-1960s.

It was the forerunner of the commuter airlines which allowed Auckland people to fly to the Bay of Plenty and back in the same day.

It was also the pioneer of the direct Tauranga to Wellington route.

Tragically the founder of the airline, Alf Bartlett and all on board the Aero Commander aircraft ZK-BWA, were killed in a crash on Mount Ruapehu on November 21, 1961.

A permanent display commemorating the history of the airline, and a memorial to those who died, is being constructed at Classic Flyers.

The unveiling of the display is on November 21 - the 50th anniversary of the crash.

ClassicFlyers personnel are looking for memorabilia and/or data to support the display. This may be items which are gifted permanently for the display, or loaned just for the commemoration service.

 Email or ph Classic FlyersNZ 07 572 4000. 

Diane Jeffery,  ClassicFlyersNZ

Mount Maunganui Early education

I know the value of quality early childhood education from my own children's experience, but the Government's chief science adviser also says that investing in the early years will save New Zealand money in future.

Every Kiwi kid should be able to access affordable and good quality ECE. The National Government's cuts of millions of dollars to ECE services over the past year are a step in the wrong direction.

The cost to parents has gone up by 11 per cent and it's children who are missing out.

As a country we spend less than the one per cent of GDP recommended by UNICEF and less than the OECD average.

 I'll be thinking about our youngest citizens when I vote because I want to see more investment in ECE, not less.

Gail Wood, Paengaroa

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- Bay of Plenty Times

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