Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Labour Party tax move on Airport attack on property rights

Stand back because I'm gunna blow!!!

Michael Cullen's retrospective tax changes over the AIA sale
effectively removes shareholders property rights

Additional reading on this story - direct links to article

Radio New Zealand

Southland Times

The arrogance, the stupidity, lack of moral and legal right and communist sort of garbage Michael Cullen is up to by retrospectively changing tax law to grab even more of New Zealand citizens and Auckland International Airport(AIA) shareholders money from them is not surprising, because we saw it in 2006 when the Labour government changed law in hindsight to make the theft of taxpayer money by them legal.

What is surprising is that Cullen and his mates around the cabinet table haven figured out or don't care about( I suspect they just couldn't give a hoot) the repercussions of their move: for business as a whole in the future, individuals and specifically the 50000 odd New Zealanders with shares in the airport-especially in an election year! Its just mind boggling.

We all know Cullen and his socialist mates hate private property rights and clearly business because here he is again stomping his little legislative pen and clipboard all over these rights.

That is, people have a property right in the shares they own in the airport and they have a right to sell them to whomever they wish, under the current tax laws which exist. Retrospectively changing the tax laws just because you can isn't a sensible way to oversee business because business needs to be able to function with surety of the current laws in which they trade under. They no longer have that in this respect.

By becoming involved in a transaction between its private citizens in this way the Labour Party have effectively wasted the time of all the parties involved. CPPIB , Auckland Airport and the shareholders involved.

Millions of dollars have also been flushed down the bog, because it costs to do these large deals. In this case it has cost shareholders like me money. Lots of it.

The interfering has wiped hundreds of millions from the capital value of the airport- down 13.5% or 38c to NZ$2.45- and therefore shareholders wealth and given notice to other overseas companies thinking about buying businesses in New Zealand to think again-if the government doesn't want it sold they will simply regulate in some way to stop it. It isn't your business anymore if you don't have the ultimate say about what happens to it.

Now investors know that Cullen and his minor party supporters have been against this sale from the beginning, almost 1 year ago. Winston "baubles" Peters has spoken about this many times and so has Cullen, Both early in the sale saga.

My question to Cullen is then, if you were against this sale from the beginning then why didn't you move to stop it at its inception? He certainly knew about the "tax issues" with the airport amalgamation but chose to sit on this harebrained half arsed intention till the very last minute.

He has also been aware that the announcement made today would have been consequential to the sharemarket value of AIA and has kept it secret from the NZX, CEO Mark Weldon's office and therefore the shareholders invested in AIA, and so should have informed the market alot sooner and alot less clumsier than he has.

I wonder if Weldon will be giving the minister a "please explain" letter? Doubt it.

The Canadian Pension Plan Investment board say they will "push on" with the deal and were aware of IRD approval when making their bid. I'm sure they didn't factor in todays turbulence though.

Finally, pissing off 50000 mums and dads when you have been nuked in the polls, your leader is melting down, and in an election year just isn't very bright.

Related Share Investor reading

NZ Herald: Airport Deal not so sweet after tax break blocked
NZX Press Release: AIA directors recommend shareholders sell
AIA profit stays grounded
Softening opposition to CPPIB bid for AIA
Directors of AIA bribe brokers not to sell
What is Auckland Airport worth to you?
Second bite at AIA by CPPIB might just fly
AIA new directors must focus on shareholders
Auckland Airport merger deal nosedives
The Canadians have landed
AIA incentive scheme must fly out the window
Government market manipulation over AIA/DAE deal
DAE move on AIA: Will it fly?

Disclosure: I own AIA shares

c Share Investor & Political Animal 2008

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