INDEPENDENT NEWS

Government not innocent over lottery salary

Published: Tue 31 Aug 1999 06:33 PM
Labour state services spokesperson Trevor Mallard said he agreed that the State Services Commissioner should have alerted the Government to the lack of information he was receiving from the Lotteries Board over the salary paid to its chief executive.
However, Trevor Mallard said criticism of Mr Wintringham by acting State Services Minister Maurice Williamson reflected badly on Prime Minister Jenny Shipley. Mrs Shipley appointed Mr Wintringham when she was State Services Minister.
"Mr Thompson's bullishness in this matter also raises questions about his suitability to be the chairperson of the Lotteries Board, which is also a Government appointment. We all know that Mr Thompson used to be President of the National Party," Trevor Mallard said.
"It is widely accepted in Parliament and in the public that Mr Bale's salary is excessive. But Minister's cannot relieve themselves of all responsibility. One of the most important aspects of being a Minister is the relationship they have with senior public servants - they should ensure that they can rely on them to keep them up to date with what is happening in their portfolio areas. Clearly this has not happened in this case.
"Mr Williamson's feeble attempts to blame Labour for this debacle are worthless when you consider that Mr Bale's salary has more than doubled since his original appointment.
"As far as Mr Thompson is concerned, I can only say that his endorsement of Mr Bale's salary package is indicative of the arrogance and born-to-rule attitude of many in the senior ranks of the National party.
"All appointees to the Lottery Board should be conscious that people buying lotto tickets and other lottery items do so with the expectation that the profits go to good causes," Trevor Mallard said.

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