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Brash wants a crackdown on political ads

Don Brash wants a crackdown on taxpayer-funded political ads

National Party Leader Don Brash says he supports a crackdown on taxpayer-funded advertising.

“National will tighten the rules on taxpayer-funded advertising in government,” he announced today.

Dr Brash says the appearance of bus-stop advertisements which read: ‘You’re Better Off With Labour’, all funded by the taxpayer, was the last straw.

“In recent years, all political parties have pushed the boundaries on the use of taxpayer-funded advertising. The time has come for someone to take the lead in pushing the boundaries back.

“Labour has said that the ‘You’re Better Off With Labour’ ads are inside the rules as legitimate policy communications. If that is the case, then I believe most New Zealand taxpayers will agree with me that the rules need to be changed.

“My personal view is that, if political parties want to tell the public to vote for them, they should be using their own money to do it.”

Dr Brash is commenting ahead of an Auditor-General’s report into political advertising conducted after complaints were lodged over Labour’s $21 million ‘Working For Families’ propaganda blitz.

“National will want to run a ruler over all taxpayer-funded advertising. We need a coherent set of rules covering departments, agencies, the Parliamentary Service Commission budget allocated to political parties, and ministerial spending.”

Dr Brash points out that National’s current billboard campaign is not funded by the taxpayer, but by supporters who want to see a change of government.

“Since I became Leader of the Opposition, I have been increasingly concerned about the wide interpretation of the spending rules and I’m determined to see consistency is applied.”


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