Despite Pete Hodgson making a right dick of himself when he said that Labour will not be paying the pledge card overspending and other expenses back, Helen Clark has now said that Labour will do so - a year after she should have said so. This is the biggest U-turn by Labour since it came to power in 1999. Labours press release is here.
The pledge card overspending was unlawful. It is my hope that Heather Simpson should be made to pay a good proportion of it back as it was her decision to bully Parliamentary Services to authorise the overspending. NZ First, The Greens and Labour were the biggest culprits, followed by United Future. The Progressives was the sole party on the left that came out with any integrity.
The other interesting point that Margaret Wilson has suggested that parties pay the money pack, not because what they did was wrong, but because public confidence in Parliament will take a hammering if the money is not paid back.
The last sentence of Labours release has an error.
New Zealanders are far more likely to want to get involved in and support politics if they know our system is open, transparent, and clean,” Helen Clark said.
The word "system" should be changed to "Government".
United Future's Peter Dunne is not impressed here's Winston Peter's comments, while labour lickspittle Jordan Carter seems to think Parliamentary Services is to blame - at least, that's what he would like you to think.