INDEPENDENT NEWS

Yet Another Slush Fund

Published: Fri 8 Nov 2002 02:21 PM
Yet Another Slush Fund
ACT Leader Richard Prebble said today that the ACT party will strongly oppose the labour government again reaching into the taxpayers' pocket to subsidise their friends in the trade union movement.
"There is no justification for public money to be spent on subsidising trade unions' involvement in so-called policy making.
"It's just as objectionable to ACT that taxpayers' money be spent with no accountability by trade unions' promoting their social agenda - as Helen Clark's latest jaunt into secret policy making - crony capitalism in Auckland restaurants.
"In a democracy, government policies should be produced in a transparent, open and non political way by the civil service.
"If the government wants, as it should, to have meaningful consultation with the electorate then it should publish the data that it has and outline its proposals so that everyone, trade unions included, can contribute.
"There is no evidence that trade unions, who represent a minority of working people, have any privileged role to play in policy formation.
"This latest proposal fits into a pattern whereby Labour seeks electoral support by heavily subsidising favoured interest groups - not because Helen Clark believes that it will result in better policy making, but because the government thinks it can buy off trade union opposition to things like public/private partnerships.
"It's legalised corruption," Mr Prebble said.

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