Sky City corporate welfare
Fairfax has picked up our comments on SkyCity's recent comments to prompt taxpayer funding of the controversial convention centre.
Auckland Councillors blast Sky City 'corporate welfare' Stuff 22/12/2014
Auckland ratepayers should not have to pay for a blow-out in the cost of the Sky City National Convention Centre, councillors say.
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce raised the prospect of the Auckland Council chipping in to help fund the project, after new estimates revealed the cost could blow out by as much as $128 million.
The increase in cost could leave taxpayers on the hook for any shortfall, but Joyce said the council could provide some assistance.
The Taxpayers' Union has derided the deal as "corporate welfare" and called on the Government not to bail Sky City out.
"The whole idea of the SkyCity deal was that Auckland and New Zealand would get an international class convention centre, paid for by SkyCity, in return for various concessions to the casino," Taxpayers' Union executive director Jordan Williams said.
"It was never suggested or intended that the taxpayer or ratepayer would have to shoulder any of the burden. If SkyCity underestimated the cost of the centre when they signed the deal, that's their problem."