Govt must restore cuts to Opposition funding

The National Government should respect the more than half of Kiwis who didn’t vote National at the last election, and immediately reinstate funding it has cut from the Opposition since it’s been in power, the Green Party says.

While the Government has generously increased its own ministerial funding over the past 8 years, the Parliamentary Appropriations Review tabled today shows that the funding for opposition parties has remained the same since 2007, amounting to a significant cut when accounting for inflation.

“Kiwis who voted for the Green Party, Labour and New Zealand First deserve to have their interests represented in Parliament, but under National these parties risk becoming less effective because the Government has reduced our core funding in real terms,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said.

“It might not be convenient for the Government to have the Opposition funded as well as it used to be, but it’s not fair for the Government to use its power to erode the resources we rely on to represent those who voted for us

“We congratulate the members of the Appropriations and Review Committee today for their straight-shooting report, including their main recommendation that decisions about Parliamentary funding no longer be made by the Government of the day, but by an independent organisation free from political influence.

“In Government the Green Party would commit to ensuring funding for the National Party, when it is in opposition, is set fairly and independently.

“The review’s findings are the latest in a growing list of warnings about the National Government’s tendency to govern in its own interests, at the expense of ordinary Kiwis’, including the Saudi Sheep bribe, and its abuse of the Official Information Act.

“Under National, many important public services like education and health are also suffering funding cuts by stealth, as the Government funding does not keep pace with inflation, or with the growth in the population.

“Kiwis trust the Government to spend public money fairly otherwise the public will miss out,” Mrs Turei said.

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