Friday, 14 July 2006

National keeping a tally of Labour's spending

New Zealand's National Party has launched a new website, dedicated to keeping a tally of wasted spending by the Labour-led minority coalition Government currently running the country (with the help of NZ First and United Future).

PM Hillin Cluck, Finance Whiz-grandad Michael Cullen and co seem quick to point out how much extra money they've spent in recent years. However, they're slower to answer why despite pouring multi-billions more into Health, waiting lists keep growing... or why so many New Zealanders have suddenly become "sick" or "invalids".

Monitoring and pointing out Government wastage was previously the hobby of ACT Party leader Rodney Hide. However, with that party represented by just two MPs in the current parliament it seems National have decided to have a crack at it.

Former Act MP Ken Shirley highlighted the scandal at Te Wananga o Aotearoa before the last election, where millions of dollars was spent on "muppet" courses like twilight golf, hip-hop tours, Cuban literacy programmes, along with free laptops for students.

National Party leader Don Brash says he's collected many fresh examples of wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars, including the $490 million blowout in building four new prisons (doesn't anyone work to budgets these days?!), and $1 million for a pilot phoneline scheme in the Bay of Plenty where 12 staff answer an average of 3 calls each per day.
He also mentions the millions of dollars Labour takes out of the Government coffers for self promotion... not a new thing by any means, and something they and the Unions see nothing wrong with. ($440,000 to send out Hillin Cluck's "pledge card" and glossy brochure to every home in the country, and a healthy $15 million to encourage thousands more kiwis to sign up for welfare in the 'Working for Families' campaign).

* Stuff: Nats launch website exposing 'wasteful Govt spending'
* Scoop: Website to highlight Labour's wasteful spending
* David Farrar: Waste Watch
* Waste Watch website

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