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Minister should explain card advertising boost

Judith Collins MP
National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

15 November 2007

Minister should explain card advertising boost

National Party Welfare spokeswoman Judith Collins says it looks like the Social Development Ministry has no intention of following Helen Clark's directive that government departments err on the side of caution when promoting policies.

The Ministry revealed in the 2007-08 estimates examination that it intended spending just $187,000 advertising the SuperGold card in 2007/08.

"Just a few weeks later, the Ministry decided to launch an advertising blitz and increased the budget to $1,154,000," says Mrs Collins.

"Ruth Dyson today failed in the House to explain why the advertising budget was increased by almost a million dollars in the space of just a few weeks.

"The promotion of the SuperGold card is a yet another taxpayer-funded publicity campaign to promote Labour Government policy.

"The Auditor-General forced the Ministry to slash the advertising budget for Working for Families from $21 million to $15 million because it was an outrageous misuse of taxpayer money.

"I am calling on the Minister to justify this 600% increase in advertising expenditure and, if need be, seek the Auditor-General's advice to ensure its promotion of the card meets State Services Commission guidelines."


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