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Near quadrupling in CYF legal bills under Labour

Judith Collins MP National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

18 May 2005

Near quadrupling in CYF legal bills under Labour

There has been a near quadrupling of legal bills at CYF since the Labour Party took office, says National Party Welfare spokeswoman Judith Collins.

"Nearly $1 million has been spent on legal bills in the past year, up from less than quarter of a million dollars in 1999.

"If that money is being spent making sure our most vulnerable kids get the protection and care they deserve then that's great, but if it is being spent on costly personal grievance cases, then clearly the culture at CYF needs to be addressed.

"If that money is being spent by the department defending itself from claims of negligence or torture, then that would also be a very serious issue indeed.

"Labour has lost interest in the needs of our children. Recently I revealed that Labour's much-heralded 'Agenda For Children' hasn't been discussed for nearly a year and a half.

"And its flagship Families Commission is shelling out more than $670,000 in advertising and promotion. With thousands more being spent on travel, accommodation and golden handshakes.

"Labour might have the biggest surplus on record which allows it to throw vast amounts of taxpayer dollars at any problem. But as the figures keep rolling in, it's clear Labour has no ability to set sensible spending priorities," says Ms Collins.

ENDS


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