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Govt pushes agenda through sneaky handouts

Govt pushes agenda through sneaky handouts

National Party Health spokeswoman Lynda Scott is appalled and angry at revelations that more scarce health funding has been channelled into promoting Labour's political agenda.

"It's a disgrace and it's time for a full audit of health ministry contracts signed by this Government.

"It now seems that some groups are being given money to promote specific changes to our law, and it would seem that to qualify they have to support Labour's point of view," says Dr Scott.

She's commenting after reports that the Prostitutes Collective received $50,000 in Government funding a month as it lobbied MPs to push through a law to decriminalise prostitution.

Dr Scott says it's particularly concerning because the news has come so soon after the public found out about the Government's $2.1 million in handouts to anti-smoking groups, which lobbied MPs to support the smoke-free legislation.

"It would seem the line has been crossed between legitimate health promotion and politically charged lobbying.

"There appears to have been a pattern of deception and we need to know how big the problem is," says Dr Scott.

"The Labour Government's been handing out money for those who support its pet ideological projects with little or no accountability.

"What makes me really angry is that these are funds coming out of the health budget, " says Dr Scott.

"It's the same budget that's supporting deficit ridden District Health Boards and being used to battle the waiting list.

"Labour must put an end to this improper use of taxpayer money and employ one standard of accountability," Dr Scott says.

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