Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Government in need of straitjacket if it tries to save ailing business

He's kidding right?

John Key's suggestion of a Government cheque went down about as well as the sale of Fisher and Paykel fridges yesterday.

This is not America. You can't compare the 1600 jobs Fisher and Paykel might dump (and eventually will anyway as more and more product gets made offshore) with the 3 to 4 million jobs Obama hopes to save or create, plus we don't have the coffers to stump up when businesses go bad.

More likely the Government will help by easing foreign investment rules to enable Fisher and Paykel to gain an investor, but even if that happens the company should be locked down to keeping what is left of its production base here.

It would be bold and somewhat cheeky for a company that has moved a lot of its business offshore in recent years to take any sort of help from Government, particularly when other New Zealand businesses have gone or are disappearing in the same way and will not be extended the same comfort.

Key's words may have been just that - a ploy to buoy the share value. Let's hope that's all he intends to do.

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