Audrey Young blogs on new transparency laws in the UK with regards to MP’s, laws that are incredibly unlikely to ever see the light of day here in New Zealand.
British MPs have been forced to reveal details of their taxpayer-funded expenses in an important ruling by the information commission Richard Thomas.I’ll bet you anything that the New Zealand MPs who love to to trumpet the UK experience in most things, including electoral law reform, keep their lips buttoned over this.It has taken UK news organisations and campaigners three years to fight what
the Guardian calls a rearguard action by Parliament to prevent the the information being made public.I can imagine the squirming that went on: we are talking about finding out how much MPs spent on grocery bills, TV licences, mortgages , travel and even a taxpayer funded dishwasher.
As Audrey points out NZ MP’s have done precisely the opposite by passing laws that specifically exempts them from the Official Information Act.
t is so bad in New Zealand that not only can you not get what might arguably be private expenditure by MPs, as above, you can’t get information on what is demonstrably public expenditure, for example the details of public expenditure on tens of thousands of fliers, pamphlets, booklets, and even fridge magnets (yes, I received an Act fridge magnets in the mail last week) to support their re-election.
And what about Labour’s illegal brochures, we can’t even find out how many were produced and how much it cost despite, as taxpayers, paying for the lot. Winston also cops a flogging for his blatant hypocrisy in calling for press freedom in Fiji while out of his arse blowing on about review laws for foreign owned press in New Zealand.