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PSA National Sec Expects Apology from Bill English

PSA National Secretary Expects An Apology from Bill English

PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott says National's deputy leader Bill English should apologise for falsely claiming that the PSA is breaking the new electoral finance law.

Mr English alleged in Parliament yesterday that the PSA had breached the Electoral Finance Act by not listing the home address of its financial agent in its application to register as a third party under Act.

"Mr English is wrong and he should apologise because the PSA is not breaking the law," says Brenda Pilott.

She says this has been confirmed by the Electoral Commission who's chief executive has told her that the PSA's third party application complies with the Electoral Finance Act.

Brenda Pilott says Mr English was also wrong when he claimed in Parliament today that the PSA had told him that it had made not lodged a correct third party application.

"Bill English called me about an amendment to the Electoral Finance Act that he was proposing and in that conversation he claimed the PSA had made a mistake in its third party application. I replied that I understood the application was correct but that I would check to make certain. I've done that and the Electoral Commission has confirmed the PSA application is in order." "It's disappointing that Mr English did not ensure he'd got his facts right before he made his false allegation about the PSA," says Brenda Pilott.

"I expect Mr English to admit his mistake and apologise to the PSA in Parliament"

"He apologised to the Council for Trade Unions, for falsely claiming they were breaking the Electoral Finance Act, and he should make a similar apology to the PSA," says Brenda Pilott.

She says it rather ironic that the PSA actually supports an amendment to the Electoral Finance Act tabled in Parliament by Mr English.

The amendment would mean people listed under the Electoral Finance Act as financial agents of third parties would be able to give their organisation's corporate address on election material, such as leaflets, rather than having to provide their home address.

"We believe this is a sensible amendment because listing a home address on election information does carry an element of risk for the financial agent," says Brenda Pilott.

She says unfortunately there are people who go to extremes in expressing their opposition to what an organisation is saying. "They may pose a threat to a financial agent and their family if they know where the agent and their family live which is why we support the amendment." The PSA believes it's required to register as a third party so it can speak publicly about the need to invest in strong public services and the important role workers and unions play in building strong economies and fair societies.

"We've done this in previous elections and registering as a third party under the EFA will enable us to do the same thing during the current election year," says Brenda Pilott.

The PSA is not affiliated to any political party and does not provide donations to any political party.


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