A bigger trough?

Richard Harman at Politik reveals that our MPs, mainly the opposition ones to be fair, are wanting a much bigger trough.

The Parliamentary Appropriations Commission is calling for an $8 million increase in spending on staff and facilities and MPs and political parties in Parliament.

Appropriations to MPs have not been increased since 2007 and there has been widespread complaints, particularly from the Opposition parties, that they are increasingly unable to afford the research and staff assistance they need to do their job.

The Commission chaired by accountant, Grant Taylor and comprising a former National Minister, John Carter and a former Labour Minister, Rick Barker, has also made a radical proposal for MP’s electorate offices.

It is proposing that these be owned by the parliamentary Services Commission and allocated to MPs.

It is a recommendation unlikely to be received well by many MPs.

That is a great idea. And they should all be painted with some sort of neutral colour like that awful Army turquoise used on military buildings and houses…or the same paint supplier who supplies every marae in New Zealand it seems. It would remove the partisan signage that current offices have and also likely substantially reduce Labour’s income from rents by renting their property to Parliamentary Services to feather the nest of the Labour party.

The report was greeted with a fusillade from the Greens who complained that it was only the Opposition parties who had had their funding frozen since 2007.

But figures released by the office of the Minister of Finance last night showed that Minister also had had their money more or less frozen.

The budget for Ministerial services in 2007 – -8 was $26,894 and $26,591 for 2014 – 15.

So the Greens lied? No surprises there.

Giving more money to opposition MPs for research seems a bit hopeless. Look at what their research has delivered up so far…that people with Chinky sounding names buy houses in Auckland, and cuddling rapists and murderers seems a sensible vote winning idea….not to mention the several crisis topics Labour has picked and then solved simply by declaring a crisis in the first place.

Why is it that the answer is always a bigger trough?


– Politik

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