Clark Urged To Repay Yelash Money To Taxpayer
ACT MP Dr Muriel Newman today presented a petition to Parliament on behalf of a group of concerned New Zealanders calling for the Prime Minister to repay to the taxpayer the $55,000 settlement made to John Yelash for wrongly calling him a murderer.
“I’m pleased to present this petition of Mr Michael Coote and 46 others because I also believe it is scandalous the Prime Minister used taxpayers’ money and tried to cover up this settlement.
“Public opinion polls and newspaper editorials have shown that the Prime Minister’s decision to pay for defaming Mr Yelash with taxpayers’ money is extremely unpopular with most New Zealanders – including those who voted for Labour.
“They don’t think Helen Clark should have used taxpayer’s money to get herself out of a difficult situation of her own making – and neither do I. Ms Clark’s incredibly ill-judged comments had nothing to do with her duties as Prime Minister and therefore any money she had to pay should have come out of her own pocket.
“This case has clearly demonstrated the double standards of this Prime Minister and her Government. She believes it perfectly acceptable to rail against secret payouts when in opposition and yet undertake those same secret payouts – at the taxpayers’ expense – when in Government.
“I hope that the Select Committee will give robust consideration to this petition and act upon it, because that’s what New Zealanders want,” Dr Newman said.