Tuesday, February 27, 2024

More dishonesty from Costello

When Cancer Minister Casey Costello was caught lying to the media and to Parliament about whether or not she had requested advice on cutting tobacco excise tax to benefit the cancer industry, her explanation was to blame "confusion arising from my understanding of the differentiation between seeking specific advice and accepting advice being offered". But now it turns out that she wasn't in fact passively "accepting advice being offered", but insisting on a particular policy and rejecting all advice to the contrary:

Health officials urged the government to retain key aspects of the smokefree law it plans to repeal, confidential briefings to Associate Health Minister Casey Costello reveal.


Officials provided Costello with multiple compromise options - including introducing a purchase age of 25 - which they said would have saved lives and money.

Costello rejected all of them.

Throughout this, Costello has behaved dishonestly and with contempt for the public and for Parliament (not to mention the officials whose advice she binned). The impression is of a Minister hellbent on inflicting her donor's plans on us, who will tell whatever lies she thinks are necessary to try and get away with it. And again, not so long ago Ministers were sacked for such deceit. But clearly Chris Luxon has lower standards than any of his predecessors. And given his lack of action, I think we're now entitled to draw some conclusions about his character and lack of honesty from this as well.