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Government Hypocrisy Over Secret Payouts

Wednesday 19 Jun 2002

ACT MP Dr Muriel Newman today accused the Government of hypocrisy over its stance on secret payouts.

"This Government was basically elected on a platform of ending confidential payouts to public sector workers. In Opposition, Labour made huge political capital out of dredging up details of payments.

"Yet in the past two and a half years what has Labour done about it? Absolutely nothing. Instead the payouts have continued unabated - more than $4 million worth that I have been able to reveal and that could be the tip of the iceberg.

"The Labour-led Government blocked my legislation in 2000 aimed at stopping the secret payouts. At the time State Services Minister Trevor Mallard said: `I acknowledge that there is a real problem that needs to be addressed and the Government is addressing it.'

"Well, surprise, surprise, two years later and nothing has happened. Now Mr Mallard has the bald-faced cheek to tell the news media that if Labour is re-elected with an overall majority it will introduce legislation. Come on! They don't need a majority. We will support the legislation.

"The reality is that Mr Mallard's promise is as empty as the Prime Minister's promise before the last election that `the party is over. The nonsense is going to stop'.

"Labour says one thing in Opposition and does another in Government. The Prime Minister herself supervised an orchestrated stone-walling of a series of written Parliamentary questions I put to the Government last year on personal grievance cases by Ministerial staff.

"This Government promised openness, accountability and transparency. It has failed utterly to deliver," Dr Newman said.


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