18 MAY 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Taxpayer-funded agencies are disgracing their neutral role by delivering press statements in praise of Budget Day funding announcements, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.
Taxpayers' Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says, “Departments and agencies like the New Zealand Police, Statistics New Zealand, Radio NZ, and NZ on Air are heaping public praise on the politicians giving them taxpayers’ money. The self-interest couldn’t be more brazen.”
“Departments should be focused on how to deliver effective services with the resources they have, not engaging in political propaganda.”
“This type of political commentary would be fine if it was coming from a union or sector association like the Public Service Association. However, taxpayer-funded communications staff shouldn’t be pumping out opinionated media statements on government policy.”
“For the Police in particular to issue media statement in the hours following the budget backing the Government’s fiscal decisions is disgraceful. It flies in the face of the constitutional convention that Police don’t publicly lobby.”
“In opposition, the Labour Party and Greens complained about the politicisation of the public service. This is precisely what that looks like.”