INDEPENDENT NEWS

Helen Clark Award: Spending Other People's Money

Published: Wed 11 Dec 2002 02:13 PM
The Helen Clark Award for Spending Other People's Money
The Prime Minister's latest confetti toss of taxpayers' money is a blatant attempt to purchase more votes from the arty-farty literati, ACT New Zealand economic development spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.
"Helen Clark has thrown another one million dollars of taxpayers' money per year at Creative New Zealand, much of it to create a new set of awards in her own name.
"There will be three annual awards of $60,000 each, called the `Prime Minister's Awards'. Prime Minister's awards, my foot - this is not Helen Clark's money! It has been taken off hard-working New Zealanders, many of whom would love to buy $60 of books - let alone have $60,000 to play with.
"There will be a $100,000 annual fellowship and the rest of the cash will go to the Author's Fund, which compensates New Zealand writers for royalties they miss out on when their books are borrowed from libraries.
"I guarantee we'll see the same old names from the literati set lining up for the hand-outs.
"The Government would do more for struggling writers if they cut taxes and let every New Zealander keep more money to spend - if they wish - on books of their own choice," Miss Coddington said.

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