From one trougher to another

Willie Jackson image credit: ROSA WOODS/STUFF

Employment minister Willie Jackson knows how to keep his own snout fully submerged in the public trough because he?s been doing it for long enough. But endorsing another trougher goes beyond the pale.

It emerged recently that Finance Minister Grant Robertson quietly retained the services of Sir Michael Cullen after the Tax Working Group had disbanded.

Why? Are Robertson and the prime minister not up to answering the hard questions on the TWG report themselves? Quote.

Cullen will be paid $1062 a day or $177 an hour (for a maximum of six hours a day) in the role, although it is not clear how much work he will charge the Government for.

While National continues to urge the State Services Commission to look into the terms and whether Cullen is engaged in political activities, Employment Minister Willie Jackson suggested the former Labour MP deserved more.

As he dismissed a “fear-mongering campaign” by National leader Simon Bridges, Jackson offered compliments to Cullen.

“I’ve got no worries about his thousand dollars a day,” Jackson, a list MP, said, according to Hansard, which records Parliamentary debates.

“It’s actually peanuts, actually, when you compare it to some of the lawyers and people who’ve worked in this Government in the past.

“He’s under-charged himself?there’s no doubt about that.” End of quote.


Peanuts? Undercharged? Tell that to anyone who earns less than a thousand bucks a day – which is probably nearly the rest of the country. Willie, you got offside with the public right there, where the government considers they bagged themselves a bargain in Cullen.

Photoshopped image credit: Boondecker

Think of the thousands of volunteers up and down this country who donate their services, month after month, year after year, for free. That’s right – no payment at all. They do it for the public good. Then along comes a “rich prick” who doesn’t need the extra grand a day, but he takes it anyway. What the heck, it’s public money going free. Well done, Labour.

Labour have forgotten that Cullen was damaged goods when he joined the TWG. Don?t they realise the public is likely to view this continued payout simply as the government reneging on its duties? Just shows how out of touch with reality they really are.

But some of us are very happy because this demonstration of elitist behaviour is exactly what will motivate the public to abandon them at the next election.