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Pledge card rort: Labour in the gun

Don Brash MP
National Party Leader

6 August 2006

Pledge card rort: Labour in the gun

National will demand Labour pays back the $446,000 spent on its pledge card and brochure if the Auditor-General finds Labour unlawfully spent taxpayers’ money on the advertising.

“Helen Clark’s pledge card rort is a smear on democracy,” says National Leader Don Brash. “We believe Labour deliberately flouted the law, and while the police investigated and found a prima facie case to answer, they decided not to prosecute.

“Today the Sunday Star Times reports on the Auditor-General’s investigation into party election expenditure.

“If that investigation finds taxpayers’ money was spent unlawfully, Helen Clark must order the immediate repayment of that money by the Labour Party.

“The Parliamentary Service has written to me telling me the Auditor-General’s inquiries found no problems with spending by the National Party Leader’s Office. However, the Auditor-General has said a small number of National MPs were apparently in breach of the rules, for a total amount of $10,588.

“Those MPs have been told of the Auditor-General’s conclusions, and they now have a chance to respond before he puts his final report out.

“I will be talking to those MPs this week and if in fact a breach of the rules is established, they will be paying the money back without delay. Because some MPs may dispute the findings, I will not be identifying anyone.

“But National’s stance on this issue is clear. Should a breach be found, the MP will pay up.

“A different standard of honesty and integrity applies within Labour. Helen Clark’s blatant disregard for the law continues, and she has done nothing to address it.

“The taxpayer continues to remain out of pocket to the tune of nearly half a million dollars. That’s a scandal.”

ENDS

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