Tuesday, March 06, 2012

More lies to Parliament

Another Question Time, and more lies to Parliament, this time from Chris Finlayson. Here's the exchange:

Hon PHIL GOFF (Labour—Mt Roskill) to the Minister of Foreign Affairs: Why is the Government requiring the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to find operating savings and make cuts of $40 million a year?

Hon CHRISTOPHER FINLAYSON (Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations) on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs: It is not.

That's a straight question, and Goff got a straight answer. Unfortunately, it contradicted MFAT's Briefing to the Incoming Minister (an unredacted copy of which has made its way into labour's hands), which shows clearly that the government is demanding $40 million of cuts.

Again, this was a primary question, a "statement of some formality". Getting truthful answers to those questions is the key to the government's accountability to Parliament - which is why lying on them is a contempt of the House. The question is how long Lockwood Smith is going to put up with these lies from the government, and how much further he will allow them to erode Parliament's credibility.