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WINZ Charter Flight Debacle Bill Still Mounting

The final bill for the WINZ charter flight debacle is still mounting with figures released today showing the Auditor General’s inquiries alone cost taxpayers almost $100,000.

In answer to a question from ACT Social Welfare Spokesman Muriel Newman the Minister in charge of the Audit Department said that the total cost of the inquiries and reviews that resulted in the report of the Controller and Auditor General on Inquiry into Events Surrounding the Chartering of Aircraft by the Department of Work and Income was $96,223.54.

Earlier this week Trevor Mallard also replied to Muriel Newman putting the cost of the State Services Commission investigation into the chartering of aircraft to fly WINZ staff to a Wairakei conference at more than $40,000.

Muriel Newman said coupled with the $168,429 WINZ spent on the flights the taxpayers Bill for the debacle is now over $300,000 with the heaviest fees still to come.

“New Zealanders have not been told the cost of the advisors needed to consult with Christine Rankin as a result of the charter flight incident. They will be the big ticket items on the final bill.

“The Minister of Social Services has promised to provide me with the cost of outside advisors including legal, public relations, media, private investigators and any others hired by the Chief Executive of WINZ as a result of the charter flight incident.

Muriel Newman said she expects taxpayers to face a bill of more than half a million dollars when all the costs of the charter flight are finally added up.


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