As if it isn't enough to pay high parking fees in central Auckland, now we find out our tax dollars are being used to subsidize Wilson Parking. Stuff news reports (below) that the company, which is chaired by billionaire Hong Kong property developer Raymond Kwok, "received $3.1 million in government wage subsidies in the past year at the same time as profit increased 43 per cent to $16.7 million".
I don't blame the company at all, since it was acting fully within its legal rights to claim the subsidy. Indeed, companies with shareholders are practically obliged to maximize their value. Instead, my gripe is with the NZ Treasury which only had to write a few words into the wage subsidy scheme along the lines that "should any company claiming these funds during the period of the lock-downs report end-of-year profits that are not materially lower than previous years profits, then the government reserves the right to claw-back the subsidy".
Failure to include those words cost you and me, the tax-payer, many, many billions of dollars. Just shows the price one pays for not having good economic advisers.