SkyCity look set to hit the jackpot
The NZ Herald is reporting that Prime Minister John Key is not ruling out taxpayer money being used to subsidise the controversial SkyCity convention centre. Despite the deal being finalised in May 2013, it is reported that negotiations between the Crown and SkyCity are ongoing and nothing has been taken off the table.
The whole idea of the SkyCity deal was that Auckland would get an international class convention centre, paid for by SkyCity, in return for various concessions to the casino. That’s bad enough, but with Mr Key’s refusal to rule out taxpayer cash, it appears that SkyCity is about to hit the jackpot.
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.
Any taxpayer support is nothing less than corporate welfare, no matter how the Government spins it. Our report on corporate welfare is available for download here - unfortunately it appears that we might need to bump the numbers up soon...