Thursday, 12 October 2006

Labour finally gives in; Minors still defiant

Public pressure this afternoon forced the Labour party to finally agree to pay back $824,524 in taxpayer funding that it unlawfully spent during last year's election campaign.

Auditor General Kevin Brady's report was released this afternoon, and revealed Labour were by far the biggest culprit in misspending parliamentary funds on electioneering.

The majority of Labour's dodgy spending went on a glossy "pledge card" and brochure featuring leader Hillin Cluck, which was delivered to households around the country.

The party, which normally relies on the country's unions for funding support, will tithe its MPs, as well as asking supporters to dip into their pockets to help out. Labour has already set up a donation website and 0900 phoneline ;-)

The Labour Party Cake Stall... Coming soon to a town near you

However, PM Cluck still refuses to accept the Auditor General's report is the correct interpretation, and doesn't believe that misappropriating three quarters of a million dollars of taxpayer funds is in any way "corrupt".

National ($11,912) and the Maori Party ($54) have already repaid their misspending, while ACT ($20,115) and the Greens ($87,192) say they'll do the same.

But Labour's lapdop support parties New Zealand First ($157,934) and United Future ($71,867) say they don't plan to write any cheques at this stage. (Admittedly, neither party is particularly wealthy, and Winston First may find his supporters reluctant to donate, given his refusal to back Rodney Hide's bill to limit local rates increases).

* NZ Herald: Labour supporters to be asked to pay back election spending
* Kiwiblog: Stolen Money per vote (a couple of interesting breakdowns)
* Whale Oil Beef Hooked
* Hat tip: Generation XY

(17/10 Update: United Future has now agreed to pay back the money they owe)

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