Bludger Bridges

Written By: - Date published: 6:56 pm, August 13th, 2018 - 63 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, Economy, minimum wage, monetary policy, poverty, scoundrels, Simon Bridges, welfare - Tags: , ,

Simon Bridges, the current National Party leader, has been been found with his snout deep in the taxpayer’s trough.

He’s pissed away more than $100,000 in just the last three months, taking an extended holiday around NZ on what he cynically calls a ‘road show’.

Some road, some show!

Newshub has been leaked the National Party leader’s expenses, which show Bridges has spent waaaay more on travel and accommodation than MP’s usually get by on.

Travel and accommodation topped $113,973, and most of that, $80k, was blown travelling the country in fine style, staying in some of the countries best accommodation. And a top of the range BMW Crown limousine has chauffeured Bridges from Kaitaia to Southland as part of his three month ‘Getting to Know Simon’ roadshow.

Well, we’re getting to know Simon all right.

It turns out, the man’s a lightweight in Parliamentary debates, but a heavyweight when it comes to the luxuries of life.

Happily, Simon doesn’t give a shit.

“I’m working incredibly hard as Opposition Leader to get out there and understand what’s happening in New Zealand. I’m getting out and doing the hard mahi.”

Yeah, right. Scoffing Bluff oysters is hard work. The hardest!

Bludger Bridges has blown $900 a day on expenses. There’s beneficiaries who don’t get that in a month.

National, you can’t afford him long term and the country clearly can’t even afford him short term.

I’ll chip in the charcoal if some brave Tory MP wants to fire up the barbie.

Just don’t expect me to turn up in a limo.

 

UPDATE:   A desperate Matthew Hooton tries to divert attention from Bridges’ bludging by blaming a baby. And spectacularly fails.

63 comments on “Bludger Bridges”

  1. Macro 1

    Bloody Hell!
    Talk about “entitlement”….
    Today I went down to make breakfast for the dozen or so who were sleeping rough in our town last night. It was a cold night but at least it wasn’t raining. It might be a bit harder tonight for them though.
    I wonder if Simon met a few of the 40,000 NZ homeless on his way – I think not. $140,000 would go a fair way to feeding them for 3 months. But does he give a shit?

  2. McFlock 2

    Which is a flipside of his roadshow he should have seen coming. No attempt to moderate expenses – silly.

  3. Nick Stone 3

    I don’t understand the hit job here.

    For the 2 months prior to the election Ardern (as Leader of the Opposition) spent almost 3 times as much on limos as Bill English = *insert sound of wind whistling through trees*

    That wasn’t a story..?

    • Have you got a link for that, Nick? You might be correct, however, I suspect as a Wellington resident English simply may had less need for the car. Or perhaps his travel at that time was reported under the PM’s expenses?

    • Clive Macann 3.2

      Proof please??

    • Delia 3.3

      No she did not. The reality is Simon Bridges has blown the most out of any if them in a three month period and that includes English when PM. Link, TV3 tonight..and I will give another prediction, it is over for Bridges, it finished tonight.

    • Grant Insley 3.4

      Almost as good as Hooton at making shit up!

  4. Cinny 4

    simon …’frankly the government should be doing more of this…’

    Doing more of what simon…..living it up using taxpayer money?

    See ya simon, wouldn’t wanna be ya! He’s a waste of money and a waste of space.

  5. Thanks for this Post. I found it enlightening that someone in the National Party? .. leaked the information to Newshub. Clearly they were unimpressed, as Macro said, this money could have done so much good.

    • Wayne 5.1

      Leak was almost certainly from Parliamentary Services.

      • solkta 5.1.1

        That is quite an accusation. By the way, it is “Parliamentary Service” not ‘Services’. Like as in the Public Service not as in a cleaning company.

      • Chris 5.1.2

        Motives would be far greater within the National party than PS.

  6. RedLogix 6

    Yeah nah … I’d like to see a breakdown on this $900 per day. If it was just personal expenses I’d doubt you could justify more than $300 per day tops, so goodness knows where the rest went.

    Air fares could easily add a fair bit, but it’s meant to be a ‘road show’ is it not?

  7. the trouble for national is not simon bridges .There problem is they have no coalition partner might I suggest Judith Collins starts a party after tweeting her way out of the leadership of national.I would do a peters resign cause a by election win it people in clevedon only no about horses,then form a party to cohabit with national.you will only give your support if you are pm.

    regards alec larsen

    • Dennis Frank 7.1

      Could happen like this: Jude does the numbers in the caucus & realises too many of her colleagues think she’s too divisive. Only way to capitalise on that hugely favourable poll rating is to do as you say. But, she thinks, why don’t I join up with Seymour, he’s nearly as right-wing as me?

      He’d have to do as he’s told, of course, but he’d make an okay deputy. Have to change that brain-dead brand, something center-right because voters need a centrist option to switch to when Peters retires at the end of this term.

      So, the Center Right Alternative Party! Excited, too busy brainstorming the future to notice the acronym, she immediately calls a press conference & announces her resignation, wins the by-election a few months down the road & succeeds in getting ACT members to vote her in when she challenges Seymour for the leadership. ACT then has two MPs and with her pulling-power there’s the realistic prospect of several more come the next election: balance of power!! Then she directs the party to change it’s name to CRAP and it all turns to custard…

    • paul andersen 7.2

      as with most things, starting a new poli party takes $$$$, would collins have that much backing, probably not from corporates, maybe from chinese dosh.

  8. Ed 8

    $900 a day.
    That would feed quite a few queuing for food parcels.
    Disgusting waste by this craven self promoter.

  9. Ed 9

    Bridges has form.

    “The records showed Transport Minister Simon Bridges spent $10,455 in the past three months, of which $6519 went on flights and Crown limos in Northland.”

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/bay-of-plenty-times/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503343&objectid=11441612

    • Hanswurst 9.1

      In that same article, Mallard appears to be suggesting that the figures used by Newshub may not be accurate, and that they in fact include the spending for the previous quarter; says the same happened to Mallard himself.

  10. what I am saying is forget about $100,000 that simon spent .What the labour coalition have to stop is national getting apartner.
    regards alec larsen

  11. BM 11

    Is Mediaworks getting bailed out by Labour?

  12. Nordy 12

    The way National are ‘going’ they will do that nicely by/to themselves. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of idiots, flakes and liars.

  13. AsleepWhileWalking 13

    So…did anyone here show up & kōrero with Simon? How’d it go if you did?

    So what if he needs a super fluffy pillow. If it connects National/Bridges to the real issues it might be worth the inflated cost.

  14. Good work , TRP.

    Show these neo liberal bludgers up for what they are.

    Thatcher once said ‘Socialists are good at spending money , – so long as its someones else’s money’.

    Yet for the last 34 years we’ve been treated to the biggest bludgers and rorters we’ve ever seen in this country. Neo liberals – good at spending other peoples cash. Never their own.

    As for Hooten ?… here’s a parody I posted at TDB. With compliments of a worker and a Gunn. My apologies for the length.

    ———————————————————

    Oh ,… here’s an interesting article in the NZ Herald today from the little man Hooten and his predictions:

    Matthew Hooton: ‘Worsening crisis of confidence’
    ——————————————————-

    ‘The outlook risks being catastrophic not just to the thousands who will lose their jobs but also to the Government’s re-election hopes ‘.

    TRANSLATION : The Govts new Industrial Relations laws are scaring the shit out of groups like the NZ Initiative and so its time to pull out the old tried and true ‘if wages go up unemployment will increase ‘ line.

    ‘Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson have spent the week denying there is a crisis while also insisting it’s everyone else’s fault ‘ .

    TRANSLATION : At all costs we must not disclose the fact that tax cuts for the rich and the deliberate under-funding of infrastructure under National is why this govt struggles to allocate sufficient funding all at once to repair the nine year long austerity programs of National to achieve a budget surplus.

    ‘ They are right that business confidence has slipped globally because of Brexit and Donald Trump’s trade war, but that does not explain why things are so much worse in New Zealand ‘ .

    TRANSLATION : SEE ABOVE.

    ‘ Business confidence is plunging, not just in absolute terms, but also relative to the rest of the world ‘ .

    TRANSLATION : Despite the fact that ‘absolute terms’ is an obscure piece of economic jargon , we will use that because it is so broad based and all encompassing that it enables us to argue from any bogus stand point we like and still sound credible. And although we are not at all like Venezuela we want to scare the living crap out of the population into thinking we are headed that way.

    ‘ Two years ago, New Zealand businesspeople were the second-most confident in the developed world ‘.

    TRANSLATION : And as any self respecting far right winger knows , – that was because of the fact that our great and glorious John Key was in power. Not only did our John teach the actors union a thing or two, he put all those pesky unions in their place and made sure workers didn’t ever try to rise above their stations. The low wage economy stayed intact, as did Johns tax havens. And if any of those uppity workers complained , – there was always the park bench for them and their family’s to sleep on.

    ‘Now they are the second-least confident, with pessimism as bad as during the Global Financial Crisis ‘.

    TRANSLATION : Johns gone.

    ‘True to form, the Beehive’s response has included smearing those who collect the data and participate in the surveys. Trade Minister David Parker has led that charge, saying the studies are “junk”, a “survey of the emotions” and “the vibe of a self-selected subset of CEOs”.

    TRANSLATION : That bastard Parker !!! He’s gone done called us all snowflakes with an agenda and showed us all up !!! Damn him !!!

    ‘Labour’s media surrogates have loyally argued it’s all just a tantrum about the colour of the new Government. But the Government is not “new”.

    TRANSLATION : Things have sure gone downhill since John Keys ‘Mr Fixit’ Stephen Joyce is no longer around,… after successfully getting rid of John Campbell and installing our own people in key positions in the media its just that much harder to label everyone who doesn’t agree with us as ‘screaming left wing conspiracy theorists’.

    ‘ It was elected nearly a year ago and business confidence did not sink to its current depths immediately ‘.

    TRANSLATION : Yet although by comparison to nine years of National being in power this govt is actually very new,- we cant admit that because of the lavish employer rights ( including landlords ) we enjoyed under National all that time. This has all changed. We are depressed. Sniff. And now unions look like they are being empowered. Sniff again.

    ‘ The real problem is that Ardern, Robertson and the rest of the Labour crew were either incapable, too lazy or too distracted to do any policy work during nine years in opposition ‘.

    TRANSLATION : We need to keep using any emotive trigger words to deflect and conceal the fact that we of the right lived high on the hog because in actual fact it was National that was incapable, lazy and far too distracted by the good life for them and their mates to do any policy work after nine years of incumbency.

    ‘ The Government’s 100-odd working groups are designed to fill that gap, but their combined effect is to leave every area of policy open to radical change but with no real indication of the nature of that change or when it might happen ‘.

    TRANSLATION : And with them doing that it leaves all us far right wingers completely in the dark as to how concoct a counter story once they have made their decision. They can undermine us anywhere, anyhow and anytime they choose! Damn them !!!

    ‘ We have no idea what taxes might be dreamed up by the Tax Working Group, let alone which will be implemented or at what rate ‘ .

    TRANSLATION : This can only mean one thing and a more than compelling reason for us to shit our pants ,- they are going to introduce a realistic corporate tax and lighten the load of the working person at the same time! Damn again!! The party’s over!!!

    ‘ The proposed independent Climate Change Commission means Parker and Nick Smith’s Emissions Trading Scheme might be replaced with something better or worse ‘.

    TRANSLATION : If its better the corporate’s will still make on the deal, if its worse , – they wont. Sniff.

    ‘It’s unclear if the Government will streamline the Resource Management Act processes or expand the Auckland urban boundary ‘ .

    TRANSLATION : Either way the chips are gonna be down for the landed gentry and the land bankers. Sniff.

    ‘ On water, some sort of tradeable rights scheme seems inevitable, with Māori taking some percentage as with the fishing quota. But the Government is unable to indicate when it will happen, how it will operate or what it might cost ‘.

    TRANSLATION : So there’s still time yet to sneak in a few more deals selling bottled water in China and buy that water for peanuts if we are quick enough.

    ‘ Consequently, farmers and growers don’t know if their access to water will be restricted or a charge introduced. Potential new entrants, including iwi, don’t know if they might get better or cheaper access. Neither can invest until the policy is resolved ‘.

    TRANSLATION : Now’s the time to invest in shares and take a punt.

    ‘ Similarly, no one knows what Jim Bolger’s Fair Pay Agreements working group will conclude, with fears it will be the biggest reversal in industrial relations since Bolger himself abolished compulsory unionism in 1983 ‘.

    TRANSLATION : That craven Benedict Arnold ! After all we and the Business Roundtable did for him ! Furnished his govt with bogus economic reports to facilitate our far right wing agenda’s, paid for slanted speakers to smear and discredit the unions, broke collective award rates and put em all on contracts instead…and he turns round and does this to us….

    ‘ Future immigration policy is unclear, despite its reduction being Winston Peter’s central political message for a quarter century. Almost every other important area of policy, including health and education, is equally up for grabs ‘.

    TRANSLATION : WHATEVER ,- JUST WHATEVER you do , – keep up prayers and offerings to the god of Mammon to ensure immigration settings stay as they do ! You know as I know that we need those mass resources of cheap labour to not only maintain us in our lavish lifestyles but to drive down those wages as far as we can get em !!

    ‘ Meanwhile, businesspeople are right to worry Shane Jones might suddenly turn up at your competitor’s operation with a big cheque from his $3 billion Provincial Growth Fund ‘ .

    TRANSLATION : Look , – we are known as believing in a ‘level playing field’, ‘competition driving down prices’ , but hey !- that’s just for the public’s consumption. The reality is our foreign owned monopoly’s are just fine as they are , thank you very much !!!

    ‘ After the oil and gas decision, there is no certainty internal coalition politics won’t mean your entire industry won’t suddenly be declared unwelcome ‘.

    TRANSLATION : We always knew this coalition had it in for all our foreign buyer mates of NZ’s assets but this is just going too far !!!

    ‘ Alongside its diversions and smears, the Government tried this week to launch a charm offensive, with Ardern and Parker’s “Trade for All” initiative and Robertson’s people pointing media to a speech he gave at SkyCity ‘.

    TRANSLATION : Damn that man ! , – exorcising the ghosts of our great and glorious leader John Key and the deals HE made at Sky City. What a cad !!!

    ‘The former is an Ardern special. A year-along “conversation” about what trade means to you, complete with yet another “advisory board”.

    TRANSLATION: THAT Woman ! , – leads a flagging Labour to victory , sides with Winston Peters, has a baby and STILL runs an incredibly popular govt. DAMN !

    ‘ Robertson’s speech was the usual precis of historic economic data combined with vague references to an Economic Plan, written in the style of a high school debating runner-up ‘.

    TRANSLATION : And that’s what gets me about Robertson,… that blasted ability he has to preface a problem, present a solution then be able to break it down so that even a high school debating runner -up can understand. We haven’t got a chance. Sniff.

    ‘ The Beehive PR machine needs to remember it’s communicating with investors and business leaders, not infants ‘.

    TRANSLATION : And despite the fact that many actually DO carry on like infants who wont share the toys in the sandpit , – we demand this govt listen to us or we WILL spit the dummy !!!.

    ‘ In fact, Robertson knows full well there is no plan. How could there be when absolutely any policy that counts, including even whether trade is a good thing, is to be left undetermined not just for weeks or months but, in some cases, for years? ‘.

    TRANSLATION: Aside from the fact that the rhetorical question on ‘whether trade is a good thing ‘ is as nebulous as my argument against the coalition at the moment, – and because it sounds all so high minded and philosophical , – I’ll leave that last line in because as we all know , – there is no crystal ball and I can sound as if I’m criticizing the govt when in actual fact I’m not saying anything of substance at all.

  15. SpaceMonkey 15

    And here I was thinking that “road show” was paid for by the National Party… silly me! Anything from the Taxpayers Union on this…? *Crickets*

  16. mac1 16

    I attended a Bridges roadshow and spotted the limo.

    He was not very convincing though he has a reasonably nice sense of self-deprecating humour.

    He believed the Key years were good. Didn’t rate Labour as an opposition. He’s now learning from the people by his roadshow. Labour has “Slogans but no plans.” He’s about offering credible alternatives (yet to see them though). He’s old-fashioned which after being used twice about cannabis, decriminalisation and crime was actually a dog-whistle about his innate and trustworthy conservatism. He’s for less regulation, less tax but could not see the hypocrisy in that later he said that governments could afford everything he promised, as a strong economy addressed all funding issues, presumably by offering more tax. Didn’t want to be seen as stereotypical but then gave us a very sterotypical problem family which he reckoned he could assist better than this government. Gave out the old deception that National spent more on health last year than Labour did this year (but did not explain about a $1.5 billion court-ordered payout for salary arrears. Banged on about the unemployment moving back upwards from 4.4% to 4.5%. Called the money for the provinces, in a provincial centre mind you, Shane Jones “slush fund”. National at 45% doing well but he did not mention his own rating of 10% when he couldn’t even secure convinced National voters to award him their preferrred PM rating. He referred to the ‘Communist Green party” which to him was not even a green party, and twice referred to Aunty Helen. He’s picking a CGT will be introduced.

    What was interesting is that he was not at all positive about beating Labour in 2020. He said
    “It was pretty historic to be a one term government” and that the government will return unless people get “knocked in the head”, which he was not picking would happen, though it’s an inexperienced government (but he did not elaborate on how experienced it will be after three and then six years in power.)

    He said Kiwi build was ‘a mirage’ and that the capacity was not there to build the planned houses but again he did not see the problem that his government had over nine years neglected to ensure
    enough resources. He blamed not having enough houses on lack of land in a town where the District Council proudly estimates it has enough land for houses for years to come.

    He also said that in opposition his party would commend the government when it got something right. A pity that he forgot that right away when he criticised the announcement of the ban on one-use plastic bags.

    Mana in Mahi was not mentioned, nor the winter warmth announcement.

    If you’ve read this far, and are fully bored, then so too was I. I only kept interested because I took copious notes. In summation, keep him on the road doing his meet the people. He’s already defeated, and knows it.

    • Ed 16.1

      Was the hall packed?
      How many attended?

      • mac1 16.1.1

        About 250, and 60% full. Afternoon meeting, mostly older citizens- the converted and a few political junkies. When ‘Aunty’ Helen was there in election 1999, the place was overflowing.

  17. Ed 17

    The story is growing legs.

    Newshub, then s Stuff, now RNZ.

    “The total bill came to $113,973. Most of that – $83,693 – was spent travelling in the crown limousine.

    Former Labour leader Andrew Little spent roughly $35,000 less on travel during the same period last year.”

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/364008/simon-bridges-defends-113k-expenses-bill

  18. Chris T 18

    I can’t believe people are actually taking this seriously as if it is a National thing

    Did everyone else miss the roadshow everytime Labour elects a leader?

    The 6 months meet and greet traveling round Little did win winning it?

    Little and Ardern’s 21 venue roadshow before he quit?

    Some people should look in the mirror

  19. Kevin 19

    “I’m working incredibly hard as Opposition Leader to get out there and understand what’s happening in New Zealand. I’m getting out and doing the hard mahi.”

    What the hell was he doing for the previous 9 years then?

  20. Michelle 20

    Who cares if Jacinda passed the baby around that didn’t cost us tax payers 100k it was free. In the meantime the bloody gnats are good at putting in the boot when it comes to others spending up large our taxes but when its them its okay cause they are allowed and they are doing their job, bloody hypocrites !

  21. Michelle 21

    Remember this party has form ( a track record) when it comes to leaking things

  22. Jum 22

    This whole tripping around NZ was done by Key, just after becoming prime minister in 2008. Into the second year of the GFC, business was publicly saying it was happy to keep current staff numbers and try to tough it out until the economy came back up, thereby keeping skilled staff, reducing future staff training costs. Sensible, logical business nouse.
    But, by the time Key had travelled around the country, businesses were dropping staff and then dropping their wages if re-employing them. Wasn’t Whitcoulls just one such example of re-employing at lower wages?

    Now Bridges goes around the country and suddenly businesses are worried, when actually the economic indicators are good.

    What lies did each of those men tell the public of New Zealand? Just go back to The Standards’ very long list of John Key’s twisting nature of fakery. Just look at the general arrogance and greed at the base of many of the current mps in national, who will do anything to get back to taking aways workers’ rights and reducing their wages and conditions and security of work.

    Business slammed Labour for daring to suggest having a conversation of creating a tax level playing field pre 2017 election, to put into place in 2018-20. So Labour said they would create a group to do this and then go to the next election on those plans. So business has only itself to blame for creating this public furore and slowing down of decision-making which now means future plans have to wait. Tell the idiot Bennett as she now waffles in parliament that it was her party’s misleading the public that produced the current waiting by business.

    And added to those two xxxxxxxx is Hooton, who has just been proved to be a national/act stooge. I have to ask, does he have a life-time contract with Radio NZ for the politics segment on Mondays? When do we get some more honest and intelligent debate from the right side of politics?

    As for the travel overspend by Bridges leak not coming from his nat competitors crawling out from the slime after the greedy position of nat leader? Oh ha ha ha hee hee hee ho ho ho.

  23. Paul Campbell 23

    My current theory is that Bridges realised it was going to come out that he’d just spent $100k of the taxpayer’s money campaigning for National … what better way to get out in front of the inevitable scandal than to release the info yourself and then make a big fuss trying to find the mythical releaser … and of course throw a bit of shade at Judith in the process

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