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Labour – not taxpayer – obliged to repay debt

Don Brash MP
National Party Leader
5 September 2006

Labour – not taxpayer – has obligation to repay debt

An option for Labour to underspend its parliamentary budget to ‘pay off’ its 2005 election spending rort is unacceptable because Labour would get away with not repaying its debt, says National Leader Don Brash.

“The option, floated by the Labour Party in today’s NZ Herald, does nothing to absolve the Labour Party of guilt, and it would set a dangerous precedent for the future.

“The Labour Party unlawfully spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money for election advertising – and therefore Labour should pay it back from its own funds.

“Expecting the appropriation to be temporarily lowered over the next year or two would see Labour getting off scot free.

“It is Helen Clark and the Labour Party that have the obligation to pay it back – not the taxpayer.

“It would be like a senior Work and Income manager stealing $800,000 for their personal use one year, and getting off the hook by underspending their departmental budget the next year by the same amount.

“Any party could break the rules in the critical election year – as Labour deliberately did despite warnings from officials – knowing full well that in the intervening years they could simply receive a smaller parliamentary budget.”

ENDS

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