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Nat's Bill does not even offer a slap on the wrist

29 May 2006
Nat's Bill does not even offer a slap on the wrist

Don Brash's Private Members' Bill to sort out his party's GST advertising election blunder allows them to get away with overspending with no penalty, the Green Party says.

The Bill will allow National to pay the $112,000 it spent over its $900,000 broadcast allocation from the 2005 election.

"While we would be pleased to see the taxpayers and broadcasters who have been left out of pocket get their money, we have a much better solution that will offer a degree of punishment as well as providing a disincentive to other parties in future," Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

"If we are going to go to the extent of changing the law, then let's make sure the amount is docked from the party's broadcast allocation for the next election.

"I plan to propose an amendment to Don Brash's bill to this effect," Ms Fitzsimons says.

Greens' 2005 Campaign Manager Russel Norman says Dr Brash has admitted again today that the error was their's so surely they should suffer the consequences.

"It is ironic that National is constantly calling for harsher penalties, but when their own error lands them in hot water the only solution they offer lets them off.

"When you can rely on millions of dollars from anonymous donations channelled through trusts, as National did to fund its election campaign, then paying an extra $112,000 is hardly a disincentive for not to do it again," Dr Norman says.


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