Taxpayer-funded bailouts for failing businesses a slippery slope
Reacting to the news that the Government is set to become a part owner of the Ruapehu ski fields, Taxpayers’ Union Campaigns Manager Callum Purves said:
“The Government should not be getting involved with propping up businesses that cannot stay afloat on their own. If the current operators go under, the mountains, ski-lifts and other infrastructure will still be there for another company to take over.
“Many international companies would be interested in buying the rights to operate the ski-fields for the reported price of $1, without the need for taxpayer loans, bailouts or buy-ins. Investing in New Zealand would be an attractive option for international companies seeking to diversify risk geographically and smooth income during the off-season in their respective countries.
“If the government wants to do something, a good start would be speaking with the many international ski-companies to see what regulatory barriers there are which are preventing them from taking over operations and seek to reduce them in time for the winter ski-season.
“People often forget that these things have an opportunity cost. The ski industry is one dominated by wealthy families who can afford to get away over the winter for some time on the slopes. Spending taxpayer money on bailing out the Ruapehu ski-fields means that we are effectively subsidising the hobbies of the wealthy at the cost of say funding frontline education or health services that have the greatest impact on low-income New Zealanders.”