Tuesday, September 23, 2014

ACT are rorters

ACT, the party "standing on your own two feet" and opposing rorts is to be offered a Ministerial role explicitly to give it more resources for party business:

The Prime Minister was today is talking up the possibility of making the [ACT's David Seymour] Associate Education Minister.

"When they have more staffing and resources as a result of a junior ministerial role it is easier from both their perspective and ours - otherwise we'd have an MP pretty much on his own with an EA (executive assistant) and it's very difficult to manage that overall party-to-party relationship."

So, very clearly, this is supposed to benefit ACT as a party. But while its ironic, contrary to my first impression its not illegal. While ministerial funding can only be used for "ministerial business", this includes:
hav[ing] a political role in maintaining government stability, which requires maintaining close working relationships with all other parties as issues arise.

Interestingly, this clause appears to have been added in 2009, to reflect a wider definition of Ministerial roles in the Cabinet Manual. Which was made in 2008 (compare earlier version) by the incoming National government, precisely so they could channel state resources to support their coalition partners.

If ACT stood by its principles, they would reject this, and demand reform of the Cabinet Manual to stop this backdoor state funding. But we know they won't.