2 Oct 2013

Solid Energy not out of the woods yet

9:48 am on 2 October 2013

The Government acknowledges that despite a deal to wipe $100 million of Solid's Energy's debt, the company's future is far from secure.

It has reached an agreement with ANZ, BNZ, ASB and Westpac to cut the State coal company's $381 million burden.

Finance Minister Bill English says Solid Energy now has a chance to prove it is a viable business.

He says the company would be helped by a rise in the coal price and very effective management, but still has a lot of work to do.

Labour says the Government continued to reap dividends when it was clear the company was in trouble.

In order to save the jobs that are left, it says the Government should continue to put money into Solid Energy, if needed.

Labour also says it will get to the bottom of what happened to Solid Energy if it gets into Government.

State Owned Enterprises spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says it should never have come to this and the taxpayer and former employees have a right to know what went wrong.