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Taxpayers Foot Bill For Bathgate

It is an absolute outrage that taxpayers will be paying $30,000 towards the legal costs of triple dipping lawyer Susan Bathgate, National's Labour and Industrial Relations Spokesperson Simon Power said today.

Minister of Labour Margaret Wilson has confirmed today in a written answer to a question by Mr Power that the Government will pay $30,000 towards Ms Bathgate's legal costs.

Ms Bathgate stood down from the Employment Relations Authority last month after Opposition MPs raised the issue of her working on three tax-payer funded bodies at once, while collecting pay packets for all three jobs.

"Margaret Wilson talks about Ms Bathgate not getting a severance payment but how will the public view this $30,000 as anything but a severance deal?

"Margaret Wilson has held the view that there is no reason Susan Bathgate shouldn't continue to hold her position on the Complaints Review Tribunal, and yet in answer to another written question she confirms her warrant will not continue when it expires on the 31 December 2001.

"This raises further questions about Margaret Wilson's handling of this issue," Mr Power said.

Ends


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