Friday, June 10, 2011

National just can't help themselves

Last year, National got into trouble for giving public money to its cronies without proper processes or oversight. Last week, we learned they were doing it again, dishing out $2.4 million to Christian group Parents Inc without a proper tender. And now the plot thickens - John Key is on the record as promising to give them money before the last election. I guess he felt he had to keep his word.

Worse, when challenged about this in Parliament yesterday, Bill English resorted to the usual hair-splitting: the Prime Minister had not given Parents Inc. an undertaking to give them money; "those comments were made by the Prime Minister in his capacity as the then Leader of the Opposition". Which sounds a lot like Bill Clinton quibbling over the meaning of "sexual relations"...

The facts are these: John Key promised to give parents Inc money. And they got it, without a tender, without an evaluation, without even a proper sample of their parenting kit being provided. That's not how our government is supposed to do business. Its not the way we get value for money for taxpayers (supposedly important to National), and its not the way we ensure that taxpayer's money is not used for political favours and cronyism. But it is so very, very National, isn't it? Their economic policy - asset sales, PPPs and tax cuts for the rich - is all about cronyism and looting the state. This is just taking it further down the chain.