Finance Minister Bill English says Treasury got it wrong in Budget documents which stated Cabinet had agreed that $100 million set aside to help Solid Energy would come from a fund set up to pay for schools and hospitals out of asset sale proceeds.
Budget documents listed $100 million for Solid Energy as one of the items that Cabinet had agreed to under the Future Investment Fund, which National set up to hold funds from its partial asset sales to pay for other assets such as schools and hospitals.
Mr English said so far the Government had agreed only that Solid Energy could get a secured loan of up to $100 million to help with cashflow problems if it needed it. "That would certainly not have come from the Future Investment Fund."
He said so far no money had been handed over, either as a loan or by way of asset purchase, and the response was "an overreaction".
Labour's Clayton Cosgrove found the reference to Solid Energy in the Budget documents and said National had promised that those asset sales proceeds would be used for other assets, "not to pay for its mistakes".
Budget papers showed that in the last financial year, $50 million was set aside either for a loan or to buy assets from Solid Energy.