troughers

It’s not just our politicians on the bludge

Politicians the world over just cannot help themselves helping themselves to our taxpayer cash, especially when it benefits them directly.

We have seen Paul Foster-Bell, Claudette Hauiti and now David Cunliffe trough it up on travel.

We see the two main parties working out better ways to avail themselves for more entitlements.

Politicians, wherever they are from, become afflicted with entitleitis…they even use the same justifications.

The ”age of entitlement” is over, according to Treasurer Joe Hockey, but politicians continue to spend tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on flights to sporting events, study tours, recipe collections and children’s books – such as Aliens in Underpants Save the World.

Department of Finance records show rising Liberal Party MP Jamie Briggs claimed almost $11,000 in entitlements over two years for travel to and from sporting events. For most of this period, November 2011 to November 2013, Mr Briggs was chairman of the Coalition’s government waste committee, established to highlight the mismanagement of taxpayer money.

His entitlement claims included:

■ $2800 last November for him and a family member to travel between Adelaide and Melbourne, where they attended Derby Day in the Emirates marquee.

■ $1600 last June to travel between Adelaide and Melbourne, where he attended an AFL game as a guest of BHP.

■ $2300 in December 2012 to travel between Adelaide and Sydney, where he attended the Australian Open as a guest of Golf Australia.

Mr Briggs said: ”Each trip was undertaken within the entitlement rules and publicly declared as required. They included meetings with a range of people related to my work as a federal member of Parliament.”

Read more »

David Cunliffe and his travel troughing

David-Cunliffe-piggy

Yesterday Andrea Vance rightfully gave Paul Foster-Bell a swift kick in the goolies for his troughing.

There was another MP though that significantly increased his travel expenses during a selection battle…David Cunliffe.

The Cunliffe had a large spike in his air travel expenses during the Labour’s got talent contest and shortly after then his air travel spending appears to have returned to normal.

Jan 1 – Mar 31 2013 – $7,208

April 1 – June 30 2013 – $8,538

July 1 – 30 Sept 2013 – $14,071

Oct 1 to Dec 31 2013 – $20,909

Jan 1 – Mar 31 2014 – $8,493

All this makes Grant Robertson’s attack on National yesterday somewhat an own goal.   Read more »

The trough pig tries explaining

Someone in National needs to tell trough pig Paul Foster-Bell to shut up. Explaining is losing, and will only lead to more questions.

Right now Claudette Hauiti has shown she is far smarter than Paul Foster-Bell.

Paul Foster-Bell has rebutted Andrea Vance’s article where she calls him out for being a bludging ratbag for using his parliamentary travel perk to travel to whangarei in his failed attempt to win the national party nomination up there.

pfb-trough pig

This issue is pretty easy to sort out.  Read more »

Here piggy, piggy, piggy

You would think Louise Upston would know better, but this is often the way with MPs after a few terms, they simply get out of touch and the entitlement mentality sinks in.

Often it is the smuggest of MPs that make the stupidest of mistakes. This week it was Gerry Brownlee who must not be liking MPs throwing his own words about how easy it is for top MPs to damage themselves back at him.

And now it is Louise Upston, National’s chief whip, who is thoroughly disliked in the caucus, creating the wrong sort of headlines.

Would you struggle to find a hotel room in Auckland or Christchurch for under $210 a night? Spare a thought for MPs who believe a $30 boost to their taxpayer-funded accommodation just won’t cover it.

The hard-done-by politicians are also asking for 30 free flights a year for their spouses, partners or children – on top of their at-least $150,000-a-year salaries.

A review of expenses by the Remuneration Authority, which sets MPs’ pay, is proposing the amount they are allowed to claim for hotel rooms while in Auckland and Christchurch on business be increased from $180 to $210. Outside of those cities it would rise from $160 to $190 a night.   Read more »

Will troughers be honest before health committee, Ctd?

Here’s the rub. Organisations that trough off the backs of the taxpayer usually spend their lives demanding the Government “do something” by way of policy interventions.

And that “do something” for the most part, relates to the introduction of more laws that eventually ends up restricting one section of society – obviously that part of society that they don’t like.

The likes of Sue Taylor of Te Reo Marama, or 2013 Trougher of the Year Professor Boyd Swinburn, are two obvious examples in the health sector.

A vast amount of their time is spent racing around trying to make sure they’re “doing something” to “justify” the dosh they tuck out of the Government machine.

“Justify” is really a wishy-washy word because on the most part, all troughers in the health sector have to do to tuck into the millions of dollars they receive, is write a 6 monthly report that some faceless ministry minion quickly scans and whacks in a filing cabinet.   Read more »

Will Troughers be honest before Health Committee – Part 1

You will know that I’m no fan of troughers. So much so that over the years I’ve exposed a raft of troughers sucking on the taxpayers’ tit.

This week the Health Select Committee will hear again from a bunch of troughers demanding NZ truck ahead with plain packaging for ciggie packets.

The thing with troughers is that once in the trough, they rarely ever see the need to get out of it, and continue to demand more and more dosh from the taxpayer to fund their efforts.

A prime example of this is Sue Taylor from the infamous Te Reo Marama – once headed by veteran trougher/activist Shane Kawaneta Bradbrook. A little background is needed. I ran an exclusive exposure about them back in 2009/2010 – here’s the full story.

Exclusive – Te Reo Marama & Maori Smoking – Troughing 101

Exclusive – Te Reo Marama & Maori Smoking – Troughing 102

Exclusive – Te Reo Marama  & Maori Smoking – Troughing 103

Gotcha! – TRM Funding Cut    Read more »

Parliaments Five Biggest Troughers

Here piggy, piggy, piggy

Here piggy, piggy, piggy

Just before easter MPs expense claims were released so no one would notice.

As expected Hone Harawira bludged the most, busy trying to secure funding for the Mana Party by arse kissing Kim Dotcom…problem is the big fella is out of cash…and nearly out of time.

Next in is Winston Peters, who’s elderly and bewildered fan club around the country demand he visits them so they remember who he is when they enter the voting booth.   Read more »

BSC cartel junkets, troughing it up on members coin in New York

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The problem with troughers is that they don’t get that it’s not their money they’re troughing through.

A prime example of this is by El Presidente Patrick Lee-Lo of the cartel-like Building Service Contractors or BSC for short.

There’s also some troughers that know it’s better to share some of the spoils in order to prevent office factions emerging that could threaten the existing hierarchy. Seems Paddy is no slouch when it comes to making sure his patch is protected.

Paddy’s previous offside/fellow travelling sidekick Marja Verkerk has been dumped for the Kimberley Clark newbie Lillian Small.

In February I blogged about a junket too good to miss for Paddy, hinting that Lillian Small will be accompanying him.

The photo above tells an even more interesting story, and one that has the Fish Gang seething.

Not only are Paddy & Lillian troughing it up on the backs of $20,000 membership fees, Paddy’s protector Bob King just happens to be caught in the frame as well.

Who is Bob King you ask? Just the BSC’s Council Member that signed off Rule #19 – which they have ignored since adopting it. Seems the rules don’t apply if you’re the boss, or the boss’s mate.

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Problem with EL Presidente Patrick Lee-Lo, is that the office has already sprung some leaks.

And with MBIE about to pull the plug on the dodgy rort preventing non-BSC member companies from getting government contracts, the curtain looks to be finally falling on these three troughers.

Is someone trying to trip-up the Taxpayers’ Union? (Warning #fauxoutrage)

As I blogged earlier the Herald covers Mojo Mathers 800km taxpayer funded round trip to meet with constituents, speak at a meeting, appear on TV, speak on a tin pot community radio station for one hour.

According to the Green Party MPs tweeting, Skype doesn’t work in Masterton and Green MPs should be able to spend taxpayer funds without mean reporters and lobby groups asking questions.

As you’d expect the left have jumped in boots and all accusing the Herald on Sunday and the Taxpayers’ Union of targeting someone with a disability. Nevermind that the travel has nothing to do with the disability.

On the one hand they demand, and in the case of Mojo Mathers, made quite a song and dance about treating people with disabilities equally and then when the shit hits the fan try and shield themselves from criticism by erecting the shield of sanctimony covered with a protecting film of cry-babyism. They want equality, but protect themselves from criticism by hiding behind the disability.  Read more »

Taxpayers’ Union pops Fizz’s bubble

What is it with the academics and fibbing about endorsement?

A few weeks ago, the Taxpayers’ Union outed the ship of fools, now it seems that the taxpayer funded scientists lobbyists calling themselves Fizz have been bottled by the Taxpayers’ Union.  They blog:

The Taxpayer’s Union has discovered that the ‘Fizz’ group of academics campaigning for a ‘sugar tax’ on soft drinks appears to have been falsely claiming the endorsement of the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC).

[…]

We wrote to the HRC asking what the nature of its support is for Fizz. We wondered why this group of academics, clearly pushing for political ends (i.e. a sugar tax) were receiving taxpayer support from the HRC.

We found that “Fizz” were fibbing – HRC are not supporting their sugar tax campaign.

The letter from the HRC’s Chief Executive, Dr Robin Olds, is below. It states that Fizz is not receiving any support form the HRC and suggests that Fizz has been misleading its supporters, the public, and the media.

Subsequently, we’ve also learned that Dr Olds has asked that the HRC logo be removed from Fizz’s promotional material. In an email to the Taxpayers’ Union Mr Olds said,

“In a phone call to the conference organiser we pointed out that using our logo was inappropriate, given that [Fizz] did not seek our permission, and that some appeared to interpret the logo as the HRC endorsing the conference.”   Read more »