Cunliffe is right

The Herald reports:

“Absolutely incompetent and absolutely staggering loss,” Cunliffe wrote on social media.

He was responding to a Herald article about the council booking $1.4b in balance sheet losses on interest-rate derivatives in the past two years after its strategy of fixing interest cost long-term backfired when interest rates fell. …

Mayor Phil Goff, who declined repeated requests by the Herald last week to discuss or justify the hedging losses and whether ratepayers were locked into now over-priced loans, did not want to lock horns with his former Labour colleague today.

Instead he issued a statement through a mayoral spokesman, saying: “Any claim that there will be ‘real’ costs to the council is factually incorrect.

The Council is paying $1,4 billion more in interest than it would otherwise have to, if it hadn’t fixed at high interest rates. That is pretty real.

Cunliffe – who Goff appointed finance spokesman when he was Labour leader from 2008 to 2011 – said: “Could there be a clearer case of a sackable offence?

“Who is resigning over it? 1400 million reasons to hang their heads in shame.”

If this was a private company and someone made a decision that cost the company $1.4 billion, I’m pretty sure they would be long gone.

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