Public Funding by Stealth

This stinks, just because Labour does it doesn’t mean ACT and National should do it. It is public funding of political parties by stealth.

National and Act, the parties that kicked up a stink in Opposition about Labour’s taxpayer-funded election advertising, are engaging in their own taxpayer-funded binge this month.

The aim is to spend all the money they are entitled to before the financial year ends on Thursday.

But while Act is being up-front about its estimated $50,000 spending on a one-week campaign to reinstate youth rates, National is keeping the details of its publicity burst secret.

Under Parliament’s rules, party leaders are entitled to funding according to their number of MPs, but if they don’t use all their money, they cannot carry the balance over to the next financial year.

So National is spending up big time around the country, producing leaflets, in the names of MPs, on last month’s Budget, with a survey attached.

The survey is clearly intended as an election tool. Its questions include asking voters which party they support and it tries to ascertain if they are swing voters.

National is refusing to say how many leaflets have gone out or how

This nothing by public funding of political parties by stealth and yet another reason why parliamentary services should be busted open via the Official Information Act.

Just as it was appalling that Labour flew up heaps of MPs for their losing campaign in the Te Tai Tokerau by-election it is likewise appalling that public funding is being used for campaigning.

The politicians won’t change the rules though, they truly are the foxes in charge of the hen house.