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Government restricts access to major spending announcements

MEDIA RELEASE

Finance Minister restricts access to major spending announcements

4 DECEMBER 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For the first time, the Government is blocking economic staff from the Taxpayers’ Union from the Minister of Finance’s Half-Year Economic Fiscal Update.

Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Jordan Williams says, “Despite signalling over the weekend that his half-year update would include major spending announcements, Grant Robertson’s officials at Treasury are vetoing our staff from attending.”

“Of the two unions that applied – the Council of Trade Unions and the Taxpayers’ Union – only the left wing organisation had its attendance application approved by Treasury officials.”

“Since the Fiscal Responsibility Act and Public Finance Act events like HYEFU have been made available to analysts on a non-partisan basis. The politicisation of who can attend sets a dangerous precedent. Perhaps it is utu for the Taxpayers’ Union’s role in holding Treasury to account for the lies of Gabriel Makhlouf in relation to the Budget leak.”

“Either way, Treasury needs to reverse this decision and return to its practice of being above politics.”

ENDS

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