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Hide moves to recover "Jobs Machine" cash

Hide moves to recover "Jobs Machine" cash

Wednesday 8 Dec 2004

Rodney Hide - Press Releases - Other

ACT Leader Rodney Hide today wrote to the Auditor General seeking recovery of some of the $47 million of taxpayers' money handed out by Jim Anderton's so-called `jobs machine'.

The Auditor General's report `identified some approved grants where it was unclear whether the Cabinet criteria had been met, and some instances where in [their] view the Cabinet criteria had clearly not been met.'

"That money should be recovered from the businesses concerned and if that is not feasible the money should be deducted out of the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise's budget for this year.

"That's what happened last year when the Auditor General found that Industry New Zealand's $75,000 grant to The Warehouse breached the `output agreement' between the Minister and Industry New Zealand. The Auditor General recommended that New Zealand Trade and Enterprise take the necessary action to remedy the breach. The grant was cancelled and the money recovered.

"The same rules should apply. The breaches need to be remedied. Otherwise Cabinet criteria and `output agreements' for how civil servants can and can't spend money are meaningless. The criteria and agreements need to be enforced.

"I have written to the Auditor General seeking details of the inappropriate payments. That is the first step in seeking the recovery of this money.

"The Minister responsible Jim Anderton has ducked for cover. He's always on call for a photo op when the money's being handed out. But he's nowhere to be seen now that his `Jobs Machine' has been exposed for what it always was - a `money machine' for the selected few," said Mr Hide.


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