Over the weekend, I read the right wing blogs with interest and their frequent references to left-wing politicians troughing at the taxpayers expense and other such instances of abuse. I then lent my mind to the National-led Government and how they have fared in this regard over the last 18 months.
This is what I came up with:
14 May 2009: Melissa Lee used taxpayer NZ on Air money to make National Party advertisements
1 August 2009: Bill English received $1000/week to live in his Wellington home while claiming his primary place of residence as Dipton. English later made changes to his family trust to claim a $900/week accommodation allowance
4 August 09: Phil Heatley rented out an apartment to another National MP while claiming $24,000/year from the taxpayer. Meanwhile, Heatley lived in another house with the taxpayer being charged $53,000 in annual rent
September 2009: Gerry Brownlee used his ministerial credit card to pay for a $151.90 lunch
11 September 2009: Bill English requested an extra hours home help from ministerial services on the same day that he warned that the Government’s books would get worse before they got better, but that “the National-led Government is bringing responsibility back to fiscal policy’
21 October 2009: Rodney Hide invited regional councillors and members of the public to an ACT Party fundraising event to hear about the future of local government. Invitations were sent on ACT Party letterhead and charged at $45 per head
30 October 2009: Rodney Hide charged the taxpayer $52000 for business-class flights for him and his girlfriend to go on a trip to London, Canada and the USA
27 November 2009: Bill English’s Diplomatic Protection Squad car was found illegally parked over mobility space while English got a haircut
30 November 2009: Bill English spent $4051 on flowers from January to November 2009
23 February 2010: Murray McCully held shares in Widespread Portfolios, a NZ investment company with mining interests here and overseas while the Government planned to receive submissions on mining projects
23 February 2010: Phil Heatley used his ministerial credit card to spend $1716 on a family holiday, the movies, a trip to Burger King, etc.
8 April 2010: David Carter did not declare his conflict of interest to Cabinet when discussing ECAN. Carter owns a farm near where the building of a dam has been proposed. The passing of the ECAN Act in March makes it more likely that the construction of the dam will go ahead. The dam would enable Carter’s farm to financially benefit from irrigation
12 April 2010: Marlborough wool exporter Richard Bell, facing the Court of Appeal, swore an affidavit alleging that Colin King told him Chris Finlayson would not act against Justice Wilson because they were friends
20 April 2010: Shortly after Nick Smith’s brother had 21 charges brought to his large South Island construction company by ECAN, Nick Smith abolished ECAN’s democratically elected board and replaced it with government appointees
12 May 2010: Nathan Guy’s ministerial accommodation was empty during August and September 2009 but was leased with taxpayer money totalling $7000
Quite a list.