Written By: - Date published: 11:55 am, May 8th, 2018 - 59 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, benefits, Gerry Brownlee, national, Politics, same old national, trevor mallard, welfare - Tags: louise upston
National is a great believer that if you are paid to do a job you should do the job. And that people reliant on the public purse should turn up to state required meetings. Otherwise they should lose their entitlements.
Louise Upston sums up National’s approach to beneficiary obligations well:
“New Zealanders are a fair minded people who want to help those who fall on hard times. But they also believe that people should help themselves and when they can work they should.
“Anyone who needs access to welfare can get it. It’s only right that they in return they meet obligations including looking for work, turning up to appointments, staying drug free and being honest about their living arrangements.
“It’s the clear expectation of tax payers that if beneficiaries are not doing that, then there should be sanctions.
“This is not ‘beneficiary bashing’. This is simply us wanting to make sure that every New Zealander is achieving their potential and that’s done by getting out of dependency.”
But this does not apply to everyone. Solo mums and people on the dole yes, members of Parliament no.
At least this is the only interpretation available from recent behaviour from National in Parliament.
National Party MPs have skipped a meeting of the Business Committee in an apparent protest at Speaker Trevor Mallard’s handling of Question Time.
National’s members of the committee did not turn up to a meeting last Tuesday. Only Anne Tolley attended, though she was there in her capacity as Deputy Speaker.
The committee is in charge of when Parliament sits and what is debated, including what laws come before the House.
Shadow Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee, who is on the committee, said it was not compulsory to attend and his MPs had only missed one meeting.
He rejected the suggestion that National MPs were staging a boycott, and said they would “probably” attend tomorrow’s meeting.
But it is understood that his party is upset about Mallard’s handling of Parliamentary Question Time and his treatment of MPs on the National side.
A source said Mallard, who must be a neutral referee, had been condescending and disparaging towards National’s senior MPs.
I think that Mallard has actually tried to be really fair. He has deducted questions from National but he has also deducted a number of questions from Labour. He reminds me of Lockwood Smith rather than David Carter.
But National’s response feels like born to rule anger they are not still in power stuff. And the one word that springs to mind over their complaint is “diddums”.
And not turning up to a Parliamentary committee meeting through spite?
The procedural stupidity is stunning. National needs to get its new MP onto select committees, particularly Health where there is now a vacancy. And there was a proposal to allow allow provincial MPs to leave earlier on Thursday in order to make flights home which cannot be advanced. Failing to turn up to the meeting only delays matters.
Maybe their entitlements to state support should be reconsidered. After all it is the clear expectation of taxpayers that MPs as well as beneficiaries should meet their expections. And if they don’t then why shouldn’t there be sanctions.