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Labour's vote buying campaign charts new territory

Gerry Brownlee MP
National Party Deputy Leader

06 June 2004

Labour's vote buying campaign charts new territory

"Labour's $21 million taxpayer funded Budget ad campaign is worth nearly four times the total amount spent by all political parties on advertising at the last election," says National Party Deputy Leader Gerry Brownlee.

The Opposition has been questioning the $21 million price tag to explain the vote-buying Budget when just $895,000 was spent explaining the 1991 benefit cuts in the then-National government's 'mother of all Budgets'.

National's Murray McCully has called on the Auditor-General to investigate and has said there should be an explanation for the huge discrepancy between the two figures.

Today Mr Brownlee is releasing more figures that he says "proves the Government is charting new territory in its propaganda campaign".

According to figures from the Electoral Commission, total spending on advertising by all political parties at the last election was $5,629,953.

"National and Labour combined spent a little more than $2.5 million. Act was the biggest spender with $1.6 million followed by Labour.

"The New Zealand public is to be peppered with pro-Labour propaganda that other political parties will be simply unable to compete with.

"I'd also speculate that no other political party would stoop to squandering such enormous amounts of taxpayer money on this kind of blatant political exercise.

"Clearly the big winners out of this year's Budget are going to be the advertising agencies that are charged with doing the Government's bidding," says Mr Brownlee.


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