8 Sep 2010

English defends pay-out to finance company

9:27 pm on 8 September 2010

Finance Minister Bill English has used a ministerial statement in Parliament on Wednesday to defend the Government's pay-out to depositors in failed South Canterbury Finance.

But Labour finance spokesperson David Cunliffe says the Government has a lot of questions to answer about its $1.8 billion bailout of the finance company.

Mr English said that in the middle of last year Treasury began to monitor South Canterbury Finance closely. An allocation in the June 2009 accounts of $830 million was almost solely related to concerns about the state of the finance company.

Mr English says things could have been worse without the Government's intervention.

But Mr Cunliffe is not entirely convinced and says the Government has many questions to answer about the way it handled the matter.