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Anderton Rorts Taxpayer to Promote 'People's Bank'

Anderton Rorts Taxpayer to Promote 'People's Bank'

Monday, August 27 2001
Rodney Hide
Press Releases -- Governance & Constitution

ACT Finance Spokesman Rodney Hide said he was astounded Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton was abusing the Parliamentary frank to drum up customers for the 'People's Bank'.

"The Parliamentary frank is paid for by taxpayers to allow the public to communicate with MPs at no expense. It is not for promoting commercial products.

"Jim Anderton is now rorting taxpayers twice-over. Once, through the $83 million needed to kick-start what is proving to be a dog of a bank. And then again, by touting for 'People's Bank' business using his Parliamentary resources.

"Mr Anderton has written to thousands of New Zealanders throughout the country as Deputy Prime Minister telling them that, "the bank, a victory for the Alliance and Leader Jim Anderton, will open its doors early next year". He has included a self-addressed postcard to himself as Deputy Prime Minister at Parliament that loudly proclaims, "No Stamp Required".

"The postcard asks recipients to fill out their name and address and tick a box that declares, 'Please send me information on setting up an account at the People's Bank'.

"This is a rort. The Parliamentary frank is not available to promote commercial products. Jim Anderton must not be allowed to get away with it. Otherwise we will have MPs using the Parliamentary frank to drum up customers for the ASB, for Sky, and for the local dairy. It is simply not on.

"I am amazed that Jim Anderton doesn't know better. I am amazed that New Zealand Post would let him do such a thing.

"Throughout the entire sorry saga of Jim Anderton's madcap promotion of the 'People's Bank', officials have been at pains to keep the 'People's Bank' at arm's length from government so that if the Bank gets into financial difficulty, no liability falls back onto the taxpayer. Jim Anderton has ruined that. Disgruntled customers can now rightly claim that they only joined the 'People's Bank' because the Deputy Prime Minister wrote to them from Parliament touting for their business.

"The ACT Party has raised the use of parliamentary resources with the Speaker, and I will be writing to the Auditor General.

"I also look forward to learning what Helen Clark makes of Jim Anderton's sleazy, desperate rort to promote the 'People's Bank' ' a bank that is failing even before it gets off the ground," concluded Rodney Hide.

Go to http://www.act.org.nz (http://www.act.org.nz) to see Jim Anderton's postcard and newsletter.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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