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Treasury cover-up of rebuild cost outrageous

Treasury cover-up of rebuild cost outrageous

John Key’s admission that the Government’s share of the Canterbury rebuild will increase to $20 billion less than a month after the Budget stated it was $15 billion, raises serious questions either about the political neutrality of the Treasury or their manipulation by National, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says.

“When the May Budget was delivered, the Opposition questioned the Crown’s cost for the rebuild after an independent report found the Christchurch City Council’s share alone had been under-estimated by more than $500 million.

“It is disappointing the Treasury has allowed the rebuild figures to be manipulated so the Government could claim a ‘surplus’. The Treasury should be an independent public servant, not a political arm of the Government.

“This is a worrying trend for the Treasury, which under John Key has become increasingly politicised.

“In 2011 the Treasury allowed the Government to book the proceeds of the asset sales in the pre-election fiscal update (PREFU) before they were sold, while at the same time not deducting the lost dividend revenue.

“The National-led government is looking increasingly shady in its manipulation of the Treasury.

“This is a National Government that calls John Banks ‘honest’, supports shonky electoral deals and National’s cash-for-access ‘Cabinet Club’. It also allows Judith Collins to remain a minister after misleading the public over her promotion of Oravida, a company her husband is a director of.

“This is a Government that this week secretly wined and dined diplomats in Queenstown at the cost of the taxpayer and refuses to disclose the costs of their junket. New Zealanders only learned about this because the Prime Minister’s briefing was distributed by mistake.

“The Treasury needs to show some integrity and explain how John Key has been able to manipulate the rebuild costs to manufacture a ‘surplus’ and re-announce higher figures just a month later.

“Will the Treasury’s PREFU announcement in August show the May Budget rebuild numbers were a lie?”


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