Govt bill designed to screw the scrum

Published: Tue 10 Apr 2007 07:53 AM
Govt bill designed to screw the scrum
National will oppose Labour’s election funding proposals designed to bail them out of their illegal activities in the last election and give them an unfair advantage in the next, says National Party Deputy Leader Bill English.
He was responding to reports that Labour intends to bring in a raft of new rules to limit private donations to political parties and cut back opportunities for people to criticise Labour.
“Any change in election funding rules should have broad support in Parliament and allow people to participate vigorously in New Zealand politics.
“Today the Government revealed rules that will make it harder for interest groups from Greenpeace to Business New Zealand to run campaigns criticising Labour.
“At the same time their rules will give unions a free hand to back Labour.
“Rules making anonymous donations more difficult make it harder for kiwis to take part in our vigorous democratic process.
“Last week Labour confirmed reports it wants state funding for political parties.
“Helen Clark wants to pass a law requiring taxpayers to bail out the Labour party after its illegal activities last election.
“It’s no coincidence that Labours rules would hand them $1m in taxpayer money when they have yet to payback $800,000 from their illegal funding of the 2005 election.
“National will work with the smaller parties all of whom have indicated they want to see fair rules with broad support in Parliament.”

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