Friday, 10 February 2006

Labour fails their Maths test

The Electoral Commission is referring the Labour Party to the Police, for possible overspending in last year's General Election, and committing an offence under the Electoral Act.

Labour spent $2,798,603 in its 2005 campaign, $418,603 more than its legal limit.

I'd suggest the Labour Party send their accounting department back to school for some basic maths revision, but given New Zealand schools now run under the atrociously appalling NCEA system, that would probably only make their skills worse ;-)

Some of the alleged overspending relates to Labour's official red pledge card and a lovely glossy letter from PM Helen Clark. The letters arrived in mailboxes around the country in the runup to the election, and featured the stamp of the House of Representatives... indicating they were paid for out of the Parliamentary Services budget, rather than Labour Party funds.

Labour's disputing the Electoral Commissions claim, despite having already been told last year by the Chief Electoral Officer that he considered the pledge cards as election activity (and therefore should have been included in their spending arithmetic).

Things are a little hazy now, but this may or may not be a copy of Labour's Official Pledge Card... ;-)

** Credit to the original creators... David Farrar at Kiwiblog, and the gang at Whale Oil Beef Hooked...

* NZ Herald: Labour's $440,000 election spend probed
* Kiwiblog (David Farrar): When were Labour told?
* Elections NZ: Election Expenses - Labour referred to police & parties slammed for lateness

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